In a nutshell, the UCD process focuses around:
- user-research (and regular research)
- sketching ideas addressing users’ needs that were learned in the first step
- prototyping the most promising of the last step’s ideas (to be evaluated through more user-research)
- iterate through testing and repeating steps as required
Web Accessibility, Usability and the User-Centred Design Process
Usability issues impact all users equally, regardless of ability; that is, a person with a disability is not disadvantaged to a greater extent by usability issues than a person without a disability. Usability is about analyzing patterns and processes of using a (digital) product.
Accessibility issues decrease access to a product for people with disabilities. When a person with a disability is at a disadvantage relative to a person without a disability, it is an accessibility issue. (It looks at how an individual needs to access digital content…how the content needs to be presented, such as through visual, audio, and/or tactile form.)
Where do we start?
Start by evaluating the current online design/system. This is a heuristic review of the current design that looks at usability principles and accessibility standards.
The complete heuristic review should include a:
- web usability review; and,
- a web accessibility evaluation.
(Ideally, a heuristic review will become one step…accessibility will be understood as being an essential part to usability.)
“No. I don’t think the Empire had Wookiees in mind when they designed it, Chewie.”
Hans Solo to Chewbacca about the Tydirium imperial shuttle when they’re trying to figure out how to fly it