Friday, November 18, 2005

BBC accessibility standards

I have always liked the BBC websites.

They seem to be able to answer the age old question (as in internet age) of "How do I cram as much information and links into a page as possible but still make it accessible, look good and provide good quality information at the same time?"

One of the keys must be their extensive and detailed accessibility standards and guidelines.

To quote:

"Accessibility should not be seen as an "optional extra", but must be
considered as a fundamental consideration at every stage of site development
work.
"
Absolutely. Accessibility should never be an option. If it is an option in your organisation then you simply aren't designing or developing at a modern professional standard.

It's nice to see things like colour blindness and contrast tests in their guidelines as I think this is a very basic but overlooked area of information/online design.

I'm a big stickler for accessible design, and content, guidelines and standards as huge value is lost or unrealised without them. This goes for both websites and intranets.

Guidelines should be both big picture conceptual and specific with examples and have links to supporting tools or references (such as code/colour validators).

All major organisations will have these types of guidelines but any business with a website or intranet can have even simple ones without too much effort

Even single pages of links to online references is better than nothing.

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