Accessibility, Usability, and Inclusion
explains the distinctions and overlaps between accessibility, usability, and inclusive design,; points out the importance of maintaining the focus of accessibility. by Liam McDermott, 14 April - am. 'Usability' and 'Accessibility' are terms often misused and confused. This article aims to explain the differences. I was recently asked to explain the difference between web accessibility and usability. I struggled to come up with a clear answer, so took some.
There are a few situations when it's important to focus specifically on one aspect, such as when addressing discrimination against people with disabilities and when defining specific accessibility standards.
What’s the Difference Between Usability and Accessibility?
Distinctions and Overlaps Accessibility Accessibility addresses discriminatory aspects related to equivalent user experience for people with disabilities, including people with age-related impairments.
For the web, accessibility means that people with disabilities can perceive, understand, navigate, and interact with websites and tools, and that they can contribute equally without barriers. For more information, see the Accessibility introduction. Usability Usability and user experience design is about designing products to be effective, efficient, and satisfying. Inclusion Inclusive design, universal design, and design for all involves designing products, such as websites, to be usable by everyone to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation.
Inclusion addresses a broad range of issues including access to and quality of hardware, software, and Internet connectivity; computer literacy and skills; economic situation; education; geographic location; and language — as well as age and disability. Accessibility and Usability While accessibility focuses on people with disabilities, many accessibility requirements also improve usability for everyone. Accessibility especially benefits people without disabilities who are in limiting situations, such as using the web on a mobile phone when visual attention is elsewhere, in bright sunlight, in a dark room, in a quiet environment, in a noisy environment, and in an emergency.
Requirements that are more specific to people with disabilities — for example, they ensure that websites work well with assistive technologies such as screen readers that read aloud web pages, screen magnifiers that enlarge web pages, and voice recognition software that is used to input text.
Most of these requirements are technical and relate to the underlying code rather than to the visual appearance. Usability is precisely defined, widely accepted definition now provided by ISO For accessibility, the situation is less on this question. Guidelines for accessibility and usability clear .
The Web Accessibility Initiative WAIfounded of websites provide ratings of the importance of problems by the World Wide Web Consortium W3C in to for users, yet little empirical data have been gathered to promote the accessibility of the Web, gives a widely validate these ratings.
However, rather than defining more precise and researchers. The relationship between the usable accessibility definition ACM Classification Keywords and the technical accessibility definition is unclear. We believe personal or classroom use is granted without fee provided that copies are not made or distributed for profit or commercial advantage and that copies that the ultimate criteria for accessibility should be user- bear this notice and the full citation on the first page.
To copy otherwise, based and we can adapt the ISO definition for this or republish, to post on servers or to redistribute to lists, requires prior purpose: Usability can also be defined as the lack of usability Secondly, as noted above, Thatcher et al  propose that problems in using a product or website; this is important, as accessibility problems which we take them to mean in measuring usability, one can either measure problems encountered by disabled people relevant to their effectiveness, efficiency and so on, or one can measure the disability and assistive technologies might be a subset of problems that a user encounters or might encounter for usability problems.
This definition is attractive in that example usability inspection methods tend to concentrate accessibility can be dealt with as part of the usability on identifying usability problems . But it also suggests the possibility that accessibility can be defined as the lack of accessibility some problems that we typically think of as accessibility problems.
But this is not the same as saying that usability problems also affect non-disabled users. For example, problems are only encountered by people without providing an informative set of headings can make a disabilities and accessibility problems are only encountered webpage much more usable for blind people using by users with disabilities.
The relationship between screenreading technologies, but it is also very helpful for accessibility and usability and accessibility and usability non-disabled people as well. However, some problems problems are rarely explicitly analysed, either in the context appear to only affect people with specific disabilities. For of the Web or other computer-based systems. So not all particular types of usability problems.
However they also accessibility problems affect non-disabled users, and are state that usability problems affect all users equally, therefore not within the scope of usability problems. These latter statements suggest a more traditionally think of as usability to include disabled users, complex relationship between accessibility and usability so that usability problems become a subset of accessibility than the former being a subset of the latter.
In It should also be noted that one could expand this analysis, fact, this is the way accessibility and usability are usually taking users with each specific disability separately, as the dealt with in the development of most websites. The problems encountered by the different disability groups can processes for conceptualizing, assessing and removing have a range of relationships with each other.
Nonetheless, problems encountered by each group of users are all these possible basic relationships between the problem completely distinct, most likely dealt with by different sets highlight useful aspects of the situation.
However, we individuals within an organization, at different times in the lack empirical data on the actual breakdown of problems development process. The idea of dealing with the two into these sets on websites. This paper sets out to types of problems in a unified process, either via the use of investigate these relationships. However, this was a small study with only people equally, whereas accessibility problems hinder two blind and two dyslexic participants and one expert.
However, in our Further evidence on the relationship between the recent research [e. With to a somewhat different analysis: In the case of the accessibility disabled people. Thus, problems encountered by non- guidelines, legislation and directives in a number of disabled people usability problems appear be amplified or countries requires websites to meet guidelines with Priority intensified for people with disabilities.
This is a particularly 1 and 2 ratings. It suggests that usability problems could The above discussion a number of issues about the be detected more easily by conducting evaluations with relationship between accessibility and usability of websites disabled people rather than with the non-disabled people and the importance ratings of accessibility and usability currently used in usability evaluations.
However, this problems provided by guidelines. This study will explore anecdotal evidence needs a sound empirical basis, so this these issues with a user-based study of two websites. Given relationship will also be investigated in this paper.
For with the Web using screenreaders, as they encounter the example, the usability guidelines originally developed by most difficulties in using the Web , and compare their the US National Cancer Institute and then extended by the experience with that of a matched group of non-disabled Department of Health and Human Sciences henceworth, people.
HHS guidelines  provide two five point ratings for The following research questions were investigated: What is the nature of the relationship of the problems judgement. The WCAG divides the checkpoints sub- encountered by non-disabled sighted people and sections of the more general guidelines into three groups: If the same problems are encountered by both blind and checkpoint.
Otherwise, one or more groups will find it sighted people, are they more severe for the blind people impossible to access information in the document.
Satisfying this checkpoint is a basic requirement for some groups to be able to use Web documents. In order to answer this second research question, the relationship between different measures of severity of Priority 2: A Web content developer should satisfy this accessibility and usability problems needs to be further checkpoint.
Otherwise, one or more groups will find it investigated, an area also of interest in itself.
What’s the Difference Between Usability and Accessibility? | A Padded Cell
So the third difficult to access information in the document. Satisfying research question was: The Long Answer Usability This can be applied to any interaction between a person and tool, although this article will concentrate on Web design.
Usability is made up of several key considerations 1: Ease of learning—how steep the learning curve to use a site is. Efficiency of use—how quickly a person can perform a task on a site, that may be finding a certain peice of information, using the navigation, getting a download and many other tasks depending on what the site was created for.
Ease of memorisation—how simple or difficult it is to remember how to perform a particular task. Error trapping—ensuring errors are few in number and when they occur that the user experience is not completely broken.
Relationship Between Accessibility and Usability
Whilst this is most relevant to dynamic data-driven sites, small sites can often improve themselves with things like trapping of errors or ensuring redirects are put in place when content is moved. Satisfaction—a user is able to perform a given task on a site satisfactorily.Web Accessibility and Usability in eLearning
Example Usability Problem Mystery meat navigation. The practice of using icons instead of text, usually the icon will disappear and be replaced by text—or text will be overlayed on the icon—when the user hovers their mouse pointer over the image.