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My Ignite! slides and transcript for UX Camp CPH 2013

Whew! What an amazing day and a half at the 2013 edition of UX Camp CPH. I contributed 5 minutes to the start of the event. I volunteered to be a part of the team that Ole Gregersen assembled for a mini-Ignite! session on the Friday evening. My 20 slides are posted on Slideshare and at the bottom of this post.

I want to say thank you to those people who came up to me and continued the conversation that I started. It was lovely to meet all of you, and I look forward to hearing more about your ideas and experiences.

Without further ado, I present the script that I used to practice my presentation – 15 seconds for each of the 20 slides. I prepared a script, then made notes as I practised, and finally, I made more tweaks mentally as I gave the presentation. This is my attempt to recreate my spoken words. This gives the gist of what I said and helps you make sense of the text-less slides. You can read all the text on the Slideshare site, but I added a description of the images here for the sake of my blind readers.

The Transcript

  1. Hello, world. You have created a site or an app that you want to share with the world. Is it for the sake of the site or for you? The site is not on its own.
  2. Your site doesn’t exist or live for itself. It lives and works for the people who use it. Thanks to Molly Holzschlag for the inspiration here.
  3. To get at your site, how will I use my visual skills, my hearing skills, my motor skills, and my cognition skills?
  4. Is it perceivable? What if I am blind? Have low-vision? What if I am colorblind? [Image shows a view from the amazing Rainbow Panorama on top of the ARoS art museum in Århus, Denmark.]
  5. Is it operable? How will I navigate if I have repetitive stress injury? Is it keyboard accessible? If I have muslce problems and need to use a mouse, can I use the giant red button instead? [Image from the Yahoo! Accessibility Lab.]
  6. Is it understandable? What if I have dyslexia? What if I am simply tired and stressed? I don’t want a huge block of incomprehensible text in front of me. [Image from the Field Guides to Ensuring Voter Intent by Dana Chisnell showing the section on writing short sentences.]
  7. Is it robust? Does it move across platforms as I move from platform to platform? Will it be compatible with the platform of tomorrow? [Image is a screenshot of the Twitter web app, which is not portable, and a screenshot of the EasyChirp app, which is.]
  8. This is a great acronym from the Web Accessibility Initiative at the World Wide Web Consortium: P. O. U. R. Perceivable, operable, understandable, robust. This is what you need to remember.
  9. Because it matters. When we meet accessibility barriers, we are like this stranded starfish. We just need a bit of help to get back to where anything is possible. We are all starfish in one way or another. [Image of a starfish that looks like it might be dead because it is partly covered in sand. The note on the photo states that it came back to life when the photographer put it back in the water.]
  10. The World Health Organisation says disability is a universal human experience. We can all experience disability – be it chronic or temporary. We can all use accessibility.
  11. If we begin from Day 1, the cost of change is 1 unit. The cost rises until it reaches 60-100 units after the project is complete. Afterwards is not good. [Image shows a tweet from @Whitneyq: “Cost of change: 1 unit in definition phase, 1.5-6 in dev, 60-100 after release (Pressman, 1992) cited in A bug cost chart is also shown.]
  12. Built-on accessibility is an afterthought and a big problem. Is it even viable? Or is it a new accident waiting to happen? I also lose faith in your product when it looks like this [a really unsafe cement ramp built in the middle of a section of stairs].
  13. I think slapping on accessibility afterwards shows a lack of quality in planning and thinking. Let’s focus on quality. Let’s concentrate on what we are doing and who we’re doing it for.
  14. We need to ask those we are designing for. Shawn Lawton Henry has a great, free book online called “Just Ask”. It has guidance on usability testing with users with disabilities, users with all abilities. That’s a must if we are to integrate accessibility throughout our designs.
  15. Because when we our processes fail to include, consult with, and listen to the people we are actually designing for, we also fail to design effectively. I love Lisa Herrod’s quote, and I love sharing it.
  16. Getting the proper mindset helps. Maybe there is a need for attitude adjustment? There’s a set of cards for that! (From Stamford Interactive in Australia.) We are all in this together – developers, designers, content providers. Let’s grow together.
  17. Playing with cards is one step on the road to teaching about accessibility and implementing accessibility. We need education. We need to build and share our knowledge. We will always be building our skills as platforms and demands change rapidly.
  18. Standards are a part of that education. W3C has guidelines of all kinds. British standards has BS8878, a framework for accessibility. We need a common ideological ground to stand on together.
  19. A lovely example is the accessibility applied to the ubiquitous infographic. Using the right skills, an inaccessible png or jpg can be pure CSS instead [by – a pure CSS version of WebAIM’s Web Accessibility for Designers infographic that is available as image and text].
  20. Using these skills means that we can all participate and enjoy our “hello, world” site. With technology like Braille readers, accessible mobile apps, video calls for deaf people, and so on, we can all benefit from designing for inclusion.[Image shows a young blind boy doing his chemistry homework with Braille reader and computer, two men testing a location-aware app on a mobile, a smiling woman watching an older man signing to a person via a video phone, a blind man using his laptop by listening to a screen reader through his earbuds.
  21. The Slides


  1. Mandy Clark
    Mandy Clark 18 April 2013

    Thank you so much for this v refreshing read. Had to share to our followers at Royal New Zealand the Blind.

  2. Karen Mardahl
    Karen Mardahl 18 April 2013

    Thanks, Mandy! Glad you enjoyed it.

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