What is a screen reader?
A screen reader is an assistive technology, primarily used by people with vision impairments. It converts text, buttons, images and other screen elements into speech or braille. Let’s go through what a screen reader is, how it works and see blind people in action!
Videos of people with disabilities using tech
There is no better way to understand the importance of accessibility and inclusive design than learning from actual users with disabilities. Here’s a collection of our favorite Youtube videos where people showcase how they use assistive technologies like screen readers, eye tracking, zoom and switches.
I used switch control for a day
Stephen Hawking used something called a switch to communicate, author books and surf the web. Just like Stephen, millions of people around the world with motor impairments use switches to access technology. Sadly, the awareness and knowledge about this assistive technology is generally low. So it’s time to switch the spotlight on switch users!
Last impressions first – a flipped approach to web design
Web teams usually spend a tremendous amount of time, money and energy on designing lovely, beautiful start pages. Let’s apply the psychological concept known as the peak-end rule to question that and introduce a flipped approach to web design.
Apple’s new feature a step towards digital apartheid
To be honest, I don’t really have time to write this article. I’ve got loads of other things I should be doing. But it needs to be written. Now. So I’ve popped up my laptop on the bus and am angrily typing away.
Accessibility T-shirts! Look like the a11y nerd you are
It’s well known in the accessibility community that the road to an inclusive digital world is through awareness. And what better way to raise awareness than wearing an awesome, head-turning accessibility t-shirt?
Axess Lab just got a 5-Star rating on Clutch
Axess Lab is a team of IT professionals who want to make life easier for everybody. And it seems to be working!
Real Facts about the Elderly and the World Wide Web
There are lots of stereotypes about the elderly and tech or the world wide web. Many portray the over-sixty crowd as being unable to cope with modern tech.
Instagram – You’ve been Axessified!
Hi Instagram! We’re thrilled to see you’re improving your accessibility by making it possible to write alt-texts for images. As a token of appreciation, we’ve made you part of our Axessified-series! This means you get some top-notch, tailored inclusive design tips to help you take the next step on your accessibility journey!
Slides from Accessibility Scotland
Hey Accessibility Scotland! I like you guys even though you invented golf…
A lot of the accessibility initiatives today are focused on web sites and apps. But there’s of course more to the digital world than that. In this article we’ll look at a case where a team has done great work to make their digital comic accessible to people with visual impairments.
LGBTQ-inclusive web design
It’s pride week here in Stockholm, Sweden! So we thought we’d celebrate by sharing a few tips on how to create a LGBTQ-inclusive digital environment.
Your skip links are broken
Hand tremors and the giant-button-problem
Text Splitting Causes Screen Reader Problems
I am a screen reader user, and I am annoyed! I repeatedly encounter the same problem on websites. It’s about text splitting up. Let me share my agony with you!
Assistive Technologies – The Switch
A switch is an assistive technology primarily used by people with motor impairments to access and control computers, smartphones, electric wheelchairs, smart home appliances and more. Let’s look at some switches in action and go through how you design switch friendly interfaces.
Title Texts Suck
Many people I meet think title texts, also known as tooltips, improve both the accessibility and usability of their sites. They don’t. In fact, they can even cause problems. Let’s see why!
Paying Employees to Work on Open Source Projects
Open source is awesome and even though we’re a startup we’ve found a way to pay our employees to contribute to the community. Here’s how and why we do it.
Our Top Articles 2017
It’s been a great 2017 at Axess Lab! We celebrate by listing our most popular articles all year.
Practical Examples of Accessibility Improvements
“It would be great to see actual examples of accessibility in action. Like before and after accessibility improvements.” I got this great comment from a woman in the audience at a meetup. So let’s make that idea a reality!
“Our Users Have no Disabilities”
There are a lot of unfortunate misconceptions about people with disabilities. Many trickle down into IT-teams who use them as arguments not to care about accessibility. So it’s time to set some things straight!
5 Ways to Make Your App More Accessible
Users spend a large portion of their days in apps. However, there is not yet as much focus on app accessibility as web accessibility. It’s time to change that!
iPhone X – Welcome Screen Inaccessible to Blind Users
I just got the new iPhone X. To my surprise, the first impression was not good at all for me as a user with a visual impairment. Apple usually don’t let me down, but now they seem to have made blunder.
Captchas were invented to protect websites from spam. However, like the well-meaning invention of nuclear fusion, captchas too got some unethical and destructive side effects. Here’s why captchas suck and what to do instead.
Trends That Exclude
Jumping on a new trend is risky business, both in fashion and web design! Here is why trends often hurt the user experience and exclude users with disabilities. I’ll also go through what you can do to avoid this from happening.
Alt-texts: The Ultimate Guide
This post contains everything you need to know about alt-texts! When to use them and how to perfectly craft them. By me, Daniel, a web developer with vision impairment who use a screen reader in my day-to-day life.
Charming interfaces – make your users smile
Using charm and humor in interfaces is a hugely underestimated technique that can make the user experience delightful, memorable and sharable. Here’s how to design, write and illustrate your way to smiling users!
Web Accessibility Directive – What it is and how to comply
Worried about the new directive on accessibility that you need to follow? Great, you’re in the right place! Here’s everything you need to know about the directive and a seven step guide on how to comply.
Statistics on disabilities – the one stat you need to know
We often get asked how many people have a disability. So here is everything we think you need to know about the statistics.
Skip the WCAG! User test with people with disabilities instead
If you’re trying to make your website or app accessible, you’ve probably stumbled over the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). But don’t waste your energy trying to understand them. Just don’t.
Datepickers often cause problems to assistive technology users and fail several basic criteria in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). But datepickers can – and should – be made accessible. Here is how to do it and a few examples you can steal or get inspired by!
Colorblind Accessibility on the Web – Fail and Success Cases
It’s Colorblind Awareness Day today! To celebrate, we raise awareness by giving you some practical examples of how design can hurt or help users with color vision deficiencies.
Fonts don’t matter
If you’re an art director or font fanatic, you might want to sit down for this. Take a few deep breaths. Go to your happy place. Because I’m going to explain why fonts are overrated and what actually matters for readability.
How icons are ruining interfaces
Icons used correctly can enhance both the user experience and look of your interface. Sadly, more and more designers are using them in the wrong way. And it’s hurting both the usability and accessibility of the interface.
Why online shopping is more accessible than health care
I recently met people with motor impairments to do user research. To my surprise, they turned out to prefer online shopping sites to public health care sites. This in Sweden, a country at the forefront of technology and with supposedly the best health care in the world. Is this really possible?
How to make your site accessible for screen magnifiers
There are around ten times as many people who use screen magnifiers than screen readers. However, focus always seems to fall on screen readers in accessibility discussions and guidelines. Let’s change that! Here are a few tips on how to make your interface accessible to screen magnifiers.
Disabled buttons suck
Accessible tech example: Queue management system
Standing in line isn’t fun for anyone, but it’s often extra annoying for people with low vision due to inaccessible technology. In a pharmacy in Stockholm we found an awesome, simple solution by Qmatic. Check out this 13 seconds video (captioned) to see it in action!
Top seven free color contrast checkers & analyzers
Here are seven great free tools that help you measure color contrasts and create beautiful, accessible color schemes that fulfill the contrast requirements in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).
Accessibility according to actual people with disabilities
“If you have a disability, what’s the hardest thing about browsing the web?” The answers to Safia Abdalla’s tweet are truly eye-opening and shows us what web accessibility should really be about.
WCAG 2.1 – what’s up and coming?
The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1 are planned to be released in June 2018. Even though a lot may change before the release, we already have some indication of what’s going to be new in the 2.1 update.
Seven tips for user testing with users with disabilities
Like regular user tests, it’s not rocket science to test with users with disabilities. And it will give you so much more than reading checklists or testing with non-disabled users.
We are Axess Lab
Hello! We are Axess Lab, a Swedish startup focusing on digital accessibility. Glad you’ve found us!