Web Design for Your Future Self

Web Design is About Profit

The greater the number of customers, the more profitable the Web design is. So why do so few Web design professionals spend the time to make their sites accessible to the disabled? The same Web design professionals who test their sites against every build of every browser on the market refuse to serve up accessible Web designs.

Web Design for the Disabled

I don’t mean to offend anyone. I’m just trying to make a point here. The disabled have to make a living just like everyone else. But, many of the severely disabled do spend a lot more time at home than others, and a great number of disabled people are retirees who often spend more time at home because they can! Granted, my father is retired and spends less time at home than he did during his career as a traveling salesman. But, I notice that his wife is always home because she has mobility issues.

Can you imagine the frustration of not being able to enjoy the Internet phenomenon in its fullest accessibility, just like non-disabled people do? Can you imagine the instant impact your site has on a disabled person when they find it is entirely accessible to them? Can you say returning client?

Accessibility creates a business edge! Why wouldn’t businesses be leaping to this competitive edge?
The Number of Disabled People Will Continue to Grow, So Should Accessible Web Designs

Not only are the baby boomers aging and retiring but we now also have a growing class of disabled veterans. Casualties are not as common in this war because technology can save the severely wounded from dying.

What could be more patriotic than creating Web designs that allow our nearly fallen men and women access to some of the tools that will allow them to function more effectively from home?

Home bound disabled people can live rich lives by taking advantage of home based business. But not so easily if nobody’s designing accessible sites.

My Personal Web Design Accessibility Gripe!

In all honesty, I like to curl up on the couch and use the computer to read news. Frequently I can’t read the small fonts on the news sites while further away from my monitor. So, I flick my browser’s menu to the “Largest” font size. But, these Web pages are, more often than not, set to use only the designated font size. I’m not exactly disabled and even I hate inaccessibility. I can’t even begin to imagine how frustrating this must be to someone with impaired and uncorrectable vision problems.

Multi-millionaires Are Just as Often Disabled as the Poor

I deeply respected one of the brokers where I used to work. His name was Tim. All his clients loved him. Tim was my customer service idol. He served everyone with immense grace, earning every dollar by falling over backwards for his clients. I recall thinking to myself that Tim was so rich he could easily get away with leaving some of his clients unsupported on a bad stock market day, as some brokers have been known to do. But this is the last thing Tim would ever do.

Because Tim knew I held the same sense about serving customers as he did, he would call on me, and only me, anytime he or one of his clients had a problem. One day he finally presented me with a problem that was too difficult. I had to come upstairs to his machine.

When I got to his screen it was set to “High Contrast, Extra-large.” All of the windows were gigantic, and all the colors were in black and white. This is an accessibility setting provided with Microsoft Windows for the visually impaired.

Tim must have accidentally set his windows to this setting when playing around trying to find a fix to his other problem, so I offered to fix that first…. It was exceedingly embarrassing to be told by him that he kept his screen on that setting because he was nearly blind.

The TRUTH About Accessibility Web Design

Folks, we’re all blind. We think disabled people are rare. They’re not. They’re everywhere. CORRECTION. We’re everywhere. I say we, because I hope to grow old until parts of my body slowly cease to function as I get every last moment out of this biological machine.

Yet, instead of accepting that the human machine is not always perfect, and all human machines eventually wear down, we stigmatize disability as if it will never affect us, personally.

Avoid designing for accessibility and you’re not only reducing your current profits due to an ignorant prejudice, but as well, you’re screwing your future self.
— Ian Hess

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Comments

web design is also a good hobby and a great job too. web design jobs pays very well.

i love web design and i love to build web pages specially with flash animation…

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