I recently wrote a blog titled; ‘Accessibility – What Is It & Is It Worth The Bother?’ Having then also posted it on Linked In, I found myself disliking the finished article. But why?
The blog (read it here), looked at accessibility and the ‘carrot and stick’ of why businesses and other organisations should be more aware of tackling the issue. The ‘stick’ discussed remaining legally compliant under the Equality Act of 2010 while the ‘carrot’ pointed to the potential for increasing markets by better understanding various groups falling under what are termed, ‘protected characteristics.’
One of the examples I used was of the difference giving more thought to something as simple as font selection can have; in the UK offering an increased potential market of up to 6 million people. And yes, you read that correctly, 6 million people.
I was happy that I had got my message across and proceeded to publish my blog before then also posting it on Linked In (read the Linked In post here). And this is where things went astray.
I had written an article on accessibility but the font offered by Linked In for posting articles on their site is, you guessed it, for many people, of the inaccessible variety. Hence, although I still posted, I dislike my post as it is hardly an example of good practice, of practising what you preach. It does however, demonstrate how widespread and often invisible the issue of (in)accessibility can be.
It is a far wider issue than many realise. From magazines to book publishers to company websites and more, poor font selection excludes many from reading otherwise great publications, books, websites, marketing materials, even court documents (yes, the very people responsible for upholding the law regularly breach it).
But flip that on its head and spot it for the opportunity it is. Understanding font selection and the many other misunderstood aspects of accessibility could put you ahead of your competition when trying to reach these often ignored sections of our community. On font selection alone, better reaching up to 6 million more people in the UK alone.
The choice is yours. Legally compliant or flouting the law; talking to some or talking to all of your potential market; mediocre and pretending or excelling and doing.
(For the record, I have fed back to Linked In on this issue).
© Jim Cowan, Cowan Global, 2016
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