Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Useability........and the Law

Continuing from last week the group has to now begin creation of a new project. a website focusing on the top ten events each month in hull. The events will be selected from 10 categories of event types to give the user a choice in what to see.

Also this week we were given a lecture on usability for web design and in particular how it is now enforced by the law to makes sure websites are useable for disable users. In the UK this usability issue is represented in the “disability discrimination act 1995” in which it states:

2.2 (p7): “The Disability Discrimination Act makes it unlawful for a service provider to discriminate against a disabled person by refusing to provide any service which it provides to members of the public.”

This then means that service providers had to make there websites useable for disabled users or face penalties from the law. This requires web designers to keep in mind how their websites will be made usable for those who are blind, have motor problems, deafness, learning difficulties, to list a few.

But actual guidelines to what web designers and service providers need to consider is located on the World Wide Web consortium web page. These guidelines outline the areas to be considered for example guideline 6 which governs about using new technologies on old browsers. A web designer creates a website using the most up-to-date technologies for a website but the features can only be used if one is using the newest browsers. Users using older browsers cannot access the features or the web page because they do not support the new technology. This is in effect excluding a vast majority of users from accessing the web page and can be seen as discrimination. Guideline 6 gives guidance by suggesting that one should take into account older browsers and give them the option of turning the new features off for access purposes.

By understanding these documents and incorporating their points into the design phase will mean the final website will take into disabled and discriminated users.


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