The ‘One day’ Award – Shortlist 2021

ableism - One Day Award nominations 2021

Reading Time: < 1 minute One Day everyone publishing web content will understand when their best visual design decision results in a poor content experience. In the meantime, let’s lament the loss of common sense. I award the Fandom’s Blackadder Wiki a meritorious mention for its near impossible link colour contrast ratio of 2.35:1! Who would intentionally do that. Really. […]

Altruistic Alternative Attributes


Reading Time: 5 minutes In this post I: Revisit the misunderstanding between the alternative text attribute (alt) and its value. Consider the editorial intention of images that convey emotion and ask, should I add a new branch to my Alternative Text Shrubbery? Why this topic? Alternative text attributes are the simplest accessibility recommendation to apply (Sydik, 2007), and a […]

Sigma Pods – Speculative Design Update

Reading Time: < 1 minute A year after our MSc UX Speculative Design project submission and Timekettle is emerging with many of the features we speculated on for the project. It’s exciting to learn of the features they have prioritised and developed for their WT2 Edge in-ear translator. As we speculated, Timekettle bring conversational controls with a tap (if more […]

Emmet Emissary

Reading Time: 4 minutes Emmet didn’t come naturally to me. My favourite YouTube codey stars and Emmet emissaries use it and without viewing their keyboard strokes I was left eager and still confused.  What’s Emmet? I’ll let the Emmet website explain: “…most text editors out there allow you to store and re-use commonly used code chunks, called “snippets”. While […]

Is HTML better than Markdown? Yes

Reading Time: 4 minutes When we write web content in valid vanilla HTML, the Internet is a far more inclusive product. Only the skill of our writers could change that. In this article I argue to drop Markdown as your primary writing medium and write to, or into HTML. Comments are open 🙂  Digital Writing Digital writing is different […]

Dog Poo is Accessible Too

dog poop is accessible too

Reading Time: < 1 minute   Too many bells, whistles, and other dog poo added to UI and UX education, articles, and videos obsess visual delight while negating even basic accessible or inclusive design. When we employ ableist 3rd-party solutions, we must take responsibility for implementing them inclusively. Dog poo is accessible, too. We don’t want to wade through it. […]

A CMS-look-alike with AJAX

Reading Time: 3 minutes Why? Static wireframes are not prototypes. I expect to use this technique when demonstrating inclusive and accessible UX or UI design strategies. These include relative units, fluid responsiveness, and server responses that static wireframes or [insert ‘prototyping’ software of choice] click-through output can only fail to convey. Starting Out It’s been a while since I […]

MSc UX Design Graduation 2020

Reading Time: < 1 minute Darn Covid 19 in 2020. Our graduation is in absentee—or some such concept spoken in Latin to dress the situation up a bit. Here’s our segment on YouTube at 27 min and 27 seconds introduced by my supervisor, Dr Andrew Errity. You’ll spot me: one of only two names poor Andrew needed to name in […]

Inclusive Dialog Design?

Reading Time: 11 minutes ☰ Navigate this post: Introduction My Initial Thinking Adrian Replies The Missing Je Ne Sais Pas More Thinking Required Use Cases Solutions That Fail Summary Reference this Post Introduction I happened upon and was impressed by Adrian Roselli’s post, “Dialog Focus in Screen Readers”. His testing set me a line of thought current to my […]

‘Special Characters’ Accessibility and Usability

image sprite of special characters in a dark and a light theme

Reading Time: 12 minutes ☰ Navigate this post: Introduction The Problem Missed Opportunity Experiments Testing Solutions Solution when all else is impossible Summary Reference this post Introduction I’m concerned when we expect screen reader users to overcome our design and technology shortcomings. Why should they ‘work around’ barriers we create? When they learn a ‘workaround’ that becomes a global […]

Blueberry Muffins and Terrible People

blueberry-muffin stuffing

Reading Time: < 1 minute Hoorah for Monica Dinculescu (‘Meownica‘) of Google calling out developers who don’t “bake-in” accessibility to their apps like blueberries in a muffin recipe: “If you don’t want to make accessible apps, then you are a terrible person and you shouldn’t be making apps for anybody. You should be doing something else.” Dinculescu (2016) The following […]

Shaking the Alt Decision Tree

woman's eyes looking up into the light

Reading Time: 9 minutes ☰ Navigate this post: Why must images be inclusive And not only accessible? The problem Why image a11y fails The rotten Alt Decision Tree Analysis Pruning the Alt Decision Tree Cutting out the technical Shaking the ‘Tree Asking what stays? My Alt Decision Shrub Tra-daa, the problem solved!? Reference this post References Why is alternative […]

Web Components can be Accessible!

Reading Time: 3 minutes When inspecting products for inclusive code strategies, I regularly run across custom HTML tags, or ‘extended’ HTML belonging to web components. They are usually comprised of DIV and SPAN soup and a style block. ARIA labelling is more often than not omitted and fixed pixel units are common, so their responsiveness is limited. The explanation […]

‘Liquid’ DELETE animation demo

Reading Time: 5 minutes Sometimes I get so hooked up on inclusive design—and rightly—that I can overlook the strategies that take an OK user interaction (UI) to delight. Following on from my starter-project on UI SVG animations, I found the following demonstration that exports Sketch PNG files into After Effects. Forgiving that the YouTube comments capture my own ill-ease […]

Utility-first CSS

Reading Time: < 1 minute During dotCSS 2019, Sarah Dayan made a compelling—if, in summary a flawed argument “In Defense of Utility-First CSS”. There’s certainly room for us to reflect and also to counter with some concerns. Sarah argues that utility-first has advantages over our grooming toward semantic CSS and its enhancement with BEM CSS writing styles. These add weight […]

Animation and Keyframes

Screen grab of the environment using TextEdit alongside the browser

Reading Time: 4 minutes This was a fun hour’s project this morning. On a past web page project, I used the viewport width to move multiple backgrounds on expanding and contracting the browser window. A yacht floated serenely across the Adriatic past islands floating on the azure waters in a changing perspective – in my mind. Anyway, the client […]

To title abbr or not?

Reading Time: 4 minutes The following code snippet caught my attention when following posts by Chris Coyier and Eric Bailey diminishing objections to the abbreviation of accessibility to “a11y”. Abbreviation <abbr>a11y</abbr> There is no title=”” attribute within the abbr element. I was groomed to always include it. The Correct HTML? A little research including the WHATWG Living Standard (September, […]