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Web & Mobile

Rogue Praise

Remodeling UIs for accessibility: Plan inclusiveness from the start, avoid superficial transformations, prioritize adaptability for all-season builds.

By Rebekah Radice

1 min read

As developers, we’re always remodeling dated UIs to keep up with accessibility standards. Once, I was hired to retrofit a rickety old web app to appease today’s demand for inclusive design.

WCAG and A11y carpenters laid out the new blueprints. I started tearing into the interface, ready to shore up whatever mess lay underneath. I started small, plumbing cornerstone pages and popular posts on our staging environment.

The client claimed to be thrilled with my initial overhaul. Replacing their ancient style guide with anything would be appealing at this point. They asked me to rebuild production to match.

After 20 years of counseling startups addicted to superficial transformations, why expect production to go smoothly? Custom joinery fell to my sledgehammer. Clever Aria labels went rogue, and links led nowhere. I raced to screw it back together.

Eventually, I slotted mismatched pieces into a dovetail joint. The stakeholders insisted on showering praise and more work on me. While I’ll take the billable hours, I’m no accessibility mascot.

Good UX incorporates adaptability and inclusiveness upfront in the design process. Consider foundations and wiring at the initial stage, and you'll end up with an all-season build.

Rebekah Radice

About Rebekah Radice

Rebekah Radice, co-founder of BRIL.LA, has traded narcissism for purpose. When not driving growth, you'll find her tricking family into thinking she's Emeril Lagasse - likely covered in marinara. The spotlight was fun, but impact is better. These days she's using 20+ years of brand brilliance for good.