Hand typing on keyboard.

Day 4: WCAG Operable

Moving onto the second WCAG principle: Operable! 1.5 hours dedicated to studying today.

Things I accomplished

  • Read through all the Operable guidelines, success criteria, and sufficient techniques.
  • Added to my WCAG 2.1 POUR spreadsheet to include Operable.
  • Started drafting a blog post to sum up the perceivable principle as though I were explaining its what, why, and how to developers. Coming soon!

What I learned today

  • SC 2.2.2: “For any moving, blinking or scrolling information that (1) starts automatically, (2) lasts more than five seconds, and (3) is presented in parallel with other content, there is a mechanism for the user to pause, stop, or hide it” Carousels, I’m looking at you! I’ve never thought to create a hide option. Something to explore further, since it only makes sense to me to provide that kind of flexibility to users.
  • Guideline 2.5: Input Modalities. This was completely new to me! Of course, all those guidelines were added as part of the WCAG 2.1 upgrade, so I imagine that’s why. Admittedly, I’ll need to read about these more in-depth, as I’m not quite finding an immediate application to projects I’ve worked on in the past.
  • My undeveloped opinion: it would seem to me that 2.5.5 Target Size would be a no-brainer (in usability) and not nice-to-have AAA conformance level. I mean, it really benefits everyone (mobile users), right?

Making progress

Though I’m only two principles into WCAG, I’m actually surprised how much I already know and have applied in my web design/development work over the last 5 years. It goes to show that the best way to learn this stuff is working with others who know it, apply it, and care about it. It also hasn’t hurt to lurk in conversations about web accessibility on Twitter, Slack, and listserv emails. Those two factors have helped me advance forward, alongside the fact that I have close friends and family with various disabilities, who have helped me relate to the challenges many people face when navigating online.

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