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Accessibility isn't frosting

2 minutes read

I saw this tweet from Frontend Masters, where Miško Hevery (of Angular/Qwik fame) said that testing isn't like frosting. Here's the full text from the video:

So I always say that testing is not like frosting, meaning that frosting is the sugar that you put on when you bake, but flour is the ingredient that has to go into your cake. Like if you skip flour, whatever you get out of it, right? Like you can't add flour on top of it afterwards and expect to have a cake. It just doesn't work. So testing is not like frosting. You can't just add it after the fact. It has to be part of the process.

And I thought to myself. Dang it, this is accessibility! Accessibility is flour! Until a few years ago, I thought it was frosting and before that I thought it didn't even go on the cake.

But there's no cake without flour and there's no web without accessibility. And when we think about building a website, we have to consider accessibility from day one. We have to think of everyone who will use it and how we can make sure they can use it in all situations.

You make a cake so that you can serve it and everyone at the table can eat it and savour it. You make a website so that everyone who comes to visit can use it.

You can add accessibility after the fact, but it's expensive, time consuming and stressful. It's like trying to add a bit more flour from time to time as you bake the cake. It maybe could work (hey, I'm not a baker), but it will definitely throw all the other ingredients off balance and your cake just won't taste as good.

Miško is a smart man! I wish I thought of that saying!

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