The Abundance of JavaScript Libraries

Instead of actively trying to learn a new library, I try to observe the actual ideas and patterns behind them. So instead of concentrating on a specific implementation, I believe it’s more important to understand the implications of the underlying idea. Observing the adoption or rejection of an idea or a pattern is vital. The adoption of technology reaching critical mass, the “tipping point”, is getting faster and faster. As is the rejection of previously hot ideas.

Joonas Pajunen in the abundance of JavaScript libraries.

Accessibility Answers: How Do I Handle Alt Attributes

Woman sitting and raising her hand beside another woman.

When I give presentations on accessibility, I often get one or two questions I’ve fielded before. I’ve collected a handful for an ongoing series of posts with my answers. I hope it helps you understand accessibility better.

How do I handle alt attributes?

Alt attributes can trip up even the most seasoned web worker. But do them right, and they make a huge difference to screen reader users.

I like this table from an article by Whitney Quesenbery.

If the image contains…The alt text should…
TextRepeat the text
Visual informationExplain it
Sensory informationDescribe it
Nothing newKeep it very short
(if you can’t make it “null”)

If you want more explanation, check out the W3C’s alt decision tree.

All images should have an alt attribute, even if it’s empty or null, like: alt="" .

Follow the series Accessibility Answers. Ask me a question via my contact form or Twiter.

Image by rawpixel.

Accessibility Answers: Which Accessibility Problems Do I Fix First?

Woman sitting and raising her hand beside another woman.

When I give presentations on accessibility, I often get one or two questions I’ve fielded before. I’ve collected a handful for an ongoing series of posts with my answers. I hope it helps you understand accessibility better.

Which accessibility problems do I fix first?

You’ve tested your site or application for accessibility and discovered you have a long list of problems. You have a set of priorities dictated by other forces, like a feature list, a revenue stream or company goals. How do you fit in accessibility? Maybe you should tack it on at the end? Focus on it in a separate sprint?

You don’t have to do any of that, or alter your goals or priorities. Of course, you do have to slot accessibility into your workflow. That’s where you should start – wherever it fits into your workflow. In a perfect world, you want to be testing code for accessibility problems before it’s committed and pushed to production. You want to involve people with disabilities in your design thinking and testing. But one thing at a time here.

Fix the problems you have in your design or code in the next swath of work you already plan on doing. Pick one area and focus on it. Fix it, and deploy those changes, even if you don’t fix all the problems. Repeat that process. Accessibility is a continuum, not just one step.

That area of focus could be keyboard accessibility, adding missing labels or whatever your testing reveals. The problems you should fix first should be a small selection of ones you have in front of you. And that selection should be related to the work you’re doing already. Make it a little better one section at a time.

Further reading: You Don’t have Accessibility Problems, You have Quality Problems

Follow the series Accessibility Answers. Ask me a question via my contact form or Twiter.

Image by rawpixel.

Vanilla JavaScript Resources

I challenged myself today to take some jQuery I used for an off-canvas slide-out menu and turn it into vanilla JavaScript.

I still have some work to do, but am about half way there. Two resources that I found very useful:

I’m working on a Codepen that I plan on creating a pattern from for the WordPress Accessible Theme Pattern Library.