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All Posts Tagged: usability

Blaming Screen Readers 🚩×5

The title of this post is pretty specific. It relates to the meme on Twitter where users identify a trait or preference that they see as problematic, and identify it as a red flag. The emoji represents the red flag. For example: A stylized red flag Blaming Screen Readers 🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩…

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Tags: accessibility, browser, rant, usability, UX

Sentence Forms (not Mad Libs)

Whether you call them sentence forms, narrative forms, fill-in-the-blank forms, or Mad Libs forms, you are probably describing a form where the fields are interspersed within words in a sentence. Unlike more traditional forms, laid out with simple pairings of labels and fields, these forms are meant to be read…

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Tags: accessibility, html, pattern, usability, UX

Scroll Snap Challenges

Though JS-free fixed table row and column headers have been possible for quite some time, Safari’s and Chrome’s recent fixes got some people pretty excited. Enough that folks are copying code samples in whole, without always paying attention to necessary considerations. That same excited demo included other CSS properties that…

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Tags: accessibility, css, pattern, standards, tables, usability, UX, WCAG

Embracing Design Constraints

Form ever follows function. Louis Sullivan Louis Sullivan, the father of the modern skyscraper, espoused this belief throughout his work. He recognized that the purpose of the building, when entering a place with no prior art, had to drive how it would look. With both the technology and audience providing…

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Tags: accessibility, design, usability, UX

Under-Engineered Select Menus

Others in this sorta-series: Under-Engineered Custom Radio Buttons and Checkboxen Under-Engineered Toggles Under-Engineered Toggles Too Under-Engineered Text Boxen I am still confounded how many developers and designers see a <select> and immediately reach for a library or framework to re-create the features from the ground up. Though, frankly, I am…

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Tags: accessibility, css, html, pattern, usability, UX

Multi-Function Button

Table of Contents Example The HTML Live Region Button Decoration Accessible Name The Styles Hide the Live Region Color and Contrast Active Animations Text Resize and Reflow Windows High Contrast Mode The Script The Click Event Manipulate Outcomes Screen Reader Output WCAG Success Criteria What This Does Not Do Wrap-up…

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Tags: accessibility, ARIA, css, html, JavaScript, pattern, usability, UX, WHCM

More Accessible Skeletons

I had this post queued up for Halloween because, come on, skeletons, and then life did its thing and now it is a … Thanksgiving post? Many skeleton patterns do a poor job presenting themselves to screen reader users in any meaningful way. They often stuff aria-busy into their widget,…

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Tags: accessibility, css, html, pattern, usability, UX

Alternative Text for CSS Generated Content

Relying on images that come from CSS has always been risky from an accessibility perspective. CSS background images, in particular, must either be purely decorative or be described to the user in some way. The risk is no different for images coming from CSS generated content using content: url(foo.gif) (typically…

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Tags: accessibility, browser, css, standards, usability, UX

Dialog Focus in Screen Readers

Creating an accessible dialog on the web is trickier than it should be. Lack of support for the <dialog> element, the need for fundraisers to get inert into WebKit, inconsistent support for the ARIA dialog role, and other annoyances make them problematic. Scott O’Hara has spent a few years covering…

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Tags: accessibility, browser, html, usability, UX

Sortable Table Column Mad Libs

Visually and functionally sortable column headers on tables are straightforward (I have a post on that coming soon). However, making them accessible can be a bit frustrating. To clarify, making them accessible to screen readers is frustrating. I wrote the post I promised in the opening: Sortable Table Columns There…

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Tags: accessibility, ARIA, html, pattern, standards, tables, usability, UX

Speech Viewer Logs of Lies

The headline is intentional hyperbole, chosen mostly for the sloppy alliteration. When sighted users test with a screen reader it is common to rely on the visual output — checking to see where focus goes, confirming that controls behave, watching the spoken output in a text log. The problem is…

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Tags: accessibility, usability, UX

When Is a Vetted Pattern No Longer a Vetted Pattern?

The moment you change it. As soon as you start to tweak the underlying code or aspects of the design, you run the risk of introducing bugs. That part should be easy for any developer to understand. The tougher part to get your arms around is that once you add…

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Tags: pattern, usability, UX