Designing for blind users

May 29, 2007

In the comments to my recent post about XHTML Scott Mayo asks an interesting question:

How many complaints you have had about the usability of your website by blind, site impaired or other-wise impaired users. Surely as NZ’s site with the broadest coverage you would have a lot of exposure to such feedback?

I have to admit that I haven’t had any direct feedback, or any first-hand experience using Trade Me with a screen reader.

I’d be interested to hear from anybody who does.

At TechEd last year we used Trade Me in a demo of the speech recognition features built into Windows Vista, and it worked great.

Amongst all of the other things to consider when creating a new site or page, it can sometimes be hard to get excited about accessibility.

But don’t forget that the single most important visitor to your site is effectively blind (a.k.a GoogleBot).

Design for accessibility and you’ll often get search engine optimisation for no additional charge!