Introduction to Web Usability and Accessibility
User-centric design, web usability, and accessibility are integral to the mission of IEEE and to creating a positive user experience for visitors to the IEEE digital presence. Consequently, the Digital & Creative Innovations Team has established a guide of web-related requirements for IEEE employees and has published the resources on this page to assist IEEE digital publishers in their site-improvement efforts.
User-centered Design Overview and Roadmap
A user-centric website allows visitors to successfully complete their tasks, faster and with less frustration. This is generally accomplished by thoroughly researching the user and considering (or even involving) them during every phase of design, from structuring navigation and writing content to adding look-and-feel and functionality. The Digital & Creative Innovations Team is involved in various projects designed to help increase the overall usability of sites within the IEEE digital presence.
Usability Overview and Resources
Usability, per the International Standards Organization (ISO 9241-11:1998), is “the extent to which a product can be used by specified users to achieve specified goals with effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction in a specified context of use.”
The following online resources are recommended by the Digital & Creative Innovations Team for those working in the web space who need to remain current on evolving best practices and industry trends.
- Jakob Nielsen's Alertbox
To subscribe, send blank email to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Gerry McGovern New Thinking Newsletter
To subscribe, send email to email@example.com
- UX Matters Magazine and Newsletter
Subscribe at www.uxmatters.com/index.php
- Usable Web, 786 Links About Web Usability: www.usableweb.com/
- Usability.gov, Guide for Developing Usable and Useful Web Sites: www.usability.gov/
- Web Style Guide, 2nd Edition, by Patrick Lynch and Sarah Horton: www.webstyleguide.com/
Accessibility Overview and Resources
"Accessibility" is generally used to refer to the usability of a tool or object by the broadest possible range of users including those with physical, cognitive, or technological disabilities. Web accessibility is the ease with which people with disabilities can perceive, understand, navigate, interact with, and contribute to the web. Web accessibility also benefits others, including older people with changing abilities due to aging.
Web Accessibility Resources
- Introduction to “How people with disabilities use the Web”: Resource that illustrates how assistive technologies are used
- WAI-ARIA (the Accessible Rich Internet Applications Suite) Overview: Resource that assists with making rich websites accessible
- WCAG 2.1 at a Glance: Principles behind WCAG 2.1
- WebAIM’s WCAG 2.1 Checklist (PDF, 233 KB)
- Guide for developing useful and usable Web sites
Web Accessibility Tools
- NVDA: Free screen reader tool by NV Access
- JAWS screen reader: Popular screen reader tool
- WAVE Toolbar: Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool
- Siteimprove – Chrome browser extension: Perform single page accessibility checks
- WebAIM Color Contrast Checker
- Tanaguru Contrast Checker: Tool that suggests compliant color combinations
Looking for more digital publishing resources?