Back in February 2018, three members of our team had the opportunity to attend WordCamp Phoenix. I attended a talk called “WordPress for Everyone: Delivering Inclusive Design,” presented by Lance Willett. It was my favorite seminar from WordCamp Phoenix.
Inclusive Design: How and Why
- Designing for a specific group can lead to a better design overall.
Facebook and Twitter have both introduced “light” versions for countries with slower internet. They have actually found that everyone prefers those versions, when they are aware they exist.
- Inclusive design is the next big push, like responsive design was a few years ago.
I’m passionate about rural internet. My parents didn’t have high speed internet available to them until just a few years ago. They live in rural Ohio. They recently moved, and even today they only have wireless available. Because of this, I grew up learning patience! Creating websites that are fast even on slow connections is part of inclusive design. There are parts of the US and many other countries that don’t have fast internet available. Making your site fast isn’t just about better conversions. It is about allowing people with slower internet connections to access your website as well.
- Coding on smartphones.
I was very interested in learning about how people are trying to figure out ways to allow people to code on smartphones. Many people don’t have access to a computer, but do have a phone. Figuring out how to make the backend of WordPress work on a phone is important for enabling accessibility for those users.
- Voice is huge.
I always considered Alexa or Siri to be a gimmick – sure, it is nice for them to turn my lights on when I get home. I had not imagined that many people use these for accessibility reasons. Making sure that your content or sites are accessible so that they can be read by Google and other voice applications is important, and as a bonus, it also helps with search engine optimization (SEO). There are screen reader tools like Voiceover for Mac or NVDA for Windows that can help you test your website.
How have you made your website design more inclusive? What small goals could you set to reach a greater audience?