In todays class we talked about web standards and accessibility.

Todd took us through the ‘Standardistas alphabet website.  this is a website that demonstrates how a website can be built with accessibility in mind We are talking here about accessibility for people with disabilities, ie using Windows reader to dictate the contents of the website to a blind reader.

Accessibility standards are defined by WCAG.  The WCAG standards defines things such as the fact that a html document must have a DOCTYPE tag, encoding (UTF-8) etc

It was quite interesting to hear that it is good practice to use tools to greyscale the site so illustrate what the site would look like to someone with colour blindness.

We discussed Jakob Nielson, a usability Guru, his website is:

https://www.nngroup.com/articles/usability-101-introduction-to-usability/

The really annoying thing about web browsers is that even though they can all be fully web standards compliant they can actually all render the same code slightly differently, which means that the same code can give wildly different results in different browsers, this is a little tedious.

We can use automated tools, such as http://www.cynthiasays.com/  they run a series of tests on the accesibility of the site

WordPress actually has plugins available that will validate pages.  thats great I think I will be using that.

One interesting set of standards that I have learned about during my time at NMIT is the NZ Government web standards.  The government actually has a set of standards that can be found at the following link:

https://webtoolkit.govt.nz/standards/

This set of standards defines who NZ websites should be constructed with regard to accessibility and usability.  All New Zealand government websites MUST adhere to these standards, obviously other websites don’t have any obligation to meet the standards, however a lot of what is in the standards is good practice and they are worth being aware of.

 

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