In 2016, we at The Financial Times launched a new version of our website to great success. It broke ground on key areas in which we’d set out to excel and measured very closely, like performance, resilience and usability. But one day, and rather serendipitously, we realized we had largely forgotten to measure one thing: accessibility. And you can’t improve what you don’t measure.
A great deal of what makes a website accessible is fairly straightforward to achieve, but only once we know what to look out for! So many websites are broken for disabled users, including those who rely on assistive tech, such as screen readers and magnifiers, to navigate the web. That's a good 10%-20% of your user base who can't access your content or pay for your product, even though they may want to.
In this talk we will go over some common front-end (anti)patterns and how they affect accessibility while otherwise going virtually undetected. We will see real user testimonials of how these affect their interaction with the web and their daily lives. Lastly, we'll cover how to get the same results without breaking your site for disabled users, including real-life examples of how we've we've avoided these pitfalls at The Financial Times.