The Shift

Balancing Bleeding Edge Creative Ideals with Client Project Objectives

This post is part of a broader conversation called The Shift, started by Dayton web design company Sparkbox. To read more posts in this series, browse the #startYourShift hashtag on Twitter. This month’s topic: Compromise. Balancing Project Needs with Internal Ideals.

We tend to forget that we’re on “budgets” when working on client projects.

You’ve taken on a basic website project and the team has an idea to implement a series of beautifully animated storylines within the website. Unfortunately the site is on a small budget and only requires four sections of basic content. Every fiber of your being wants to try and complete this effect, but you know it will take double the time to execute and cost. Now what do you do?

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Web Accessibility is a Duty, Not an Option

This post is part of a broader conversation called The Shift, started by Dayton web design company Sparkbox. To read more posts in this series, browse the #startYourShift hashtag on Twitter. This month’s topic: how to make the web better.

Raymond Zylinski, assistant AT (assistive technology) instructor at Buffalo’s Olmsted Center for Sight, shows me how to use YouTube. The computerized voice of JAWS (Job Access With Speech), his screen reader, lists off page elements as he selects them: first the edit field, where he searches for The Beatles, and then the search results, which he proceeds through until finally settling on “Penny Lane.”

Ray is blind, and YouTube is nominally an “accessible” website. He’s also really, really good with JAWS. So I’m surprised by what happens next: YouTube’s accessibility more or less falls apart. Skipping the five-minute ad before the video? Next to impossible with JAWS. Going fullscreen, a necessity for low-vision users? You can’t do it without clicking, despite the fact that the visually impaired use their keyboards exclusively to interact with web pages.

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