What does User Experience mean when you're blind?
The last Icons meetup of this academic year was a very special one. This meetup was all about the next level of User Experience.
When designers talk about User Experience they often use terms like engaging, or delightful, or even magical. And we all know examples of digital interfaces that don’t just work, but are even a joy to use. But what does User Experience mean for someone who is blind? In theory they can use every single website with assisitive technology like screen readers and braille displays. But alas, in practice this is not always the case. For a blind person, does engaging mean you can get the task done, with a bit of luck and a bit of hacking? Is it delightful when the task is pretty clear and can be done without too much trouble? And what does magical mean when you can’t see?
We’re going to discuss these questions, and more, with you, the audience, and Léonie Watson, Communications director and Principal engineer at The Paciello Group. She will give a small introductory talk about what UX means to her, and after that we'll have plenty of time for all your questions about designing User Experiences for blind people. About the basics, about delight, and about the future.
Who is Léonie Watson?
Léonie Watson began using the internet in 1993, turned it into a web design career in 1997, and (despite losing her eyesight along the way) has been enjoying herself thoroughly ever since.
Léonie is Communications director and Principal engineer at The Paciello Group (TPG), and also works with Government Digital Service (GDS) on the GOV.UK platform.
As a member of the W3C Advisory Board, and co-chair of the W3C Web Platform WG (working on specs like HTML5), Léonie is closely involved with the web standards community. She is frequently asked to talk about web standards and/or accessibility at conferences.
In her spare time Léonie blogs on tink.uk, writes for tech journals like Smashing magazine, SitePoint.com and Net magazine. She also loves cooking, dancing and drinking tequila (although not necessarily in that order).