ia play

the good life in a digital age

being an accessible IA

We all know we ought to be producing accessible websites and systems (nod here or you probably shouldn’t be reading this blog). I knew I’d learn about accessibility at a whole different level at the RNIB but what I wasn’t prepared for, foolishly perhaps, was needing to practice IA in an accessible way.

Alot of RNIB staff are blind or partially sighted so most project teams involve someone who doesn’t find traditional IA approaches particularly easy to engage with. My old colleagues would be distraught to discover that the solution is often MS Word or Excel.


  • card-sorting (large print might work for the partially sighted)
  • sketching (bad, particularly if your handwriting is poor)
  • paper-prototypes
  • any sticky note approach (I was particularly upset by this one)
  • wireframes (can be laid out better, maybe a page description diagram would be better)
  • sitemaps (can be done in Excel or maybe even Word. Not Visio. Ever.)
  • user flows (I feel like there ought to be some way of making a user flow that screen-readers could follow, decision tree like?)
  • alignment models
  • swimlanes (maybe in Excel, although that sounds horrible)

Probably ok:

  • freelisting
  • nicely coded prototypes (none of your Dreamweaver muck, thank you)

I don’t think the odds are in my favour.

Written by Karen

November 6th, 2008 at 6:26 am