Use the arrow keys to navigate between menu items.

Bad decisions Part 3: Putting wishful thinking over reality

2 minutes read

Yesterday, I talked about conforming to other people's expectations and how that can scare you into paralysis by analysis. Today, let's talk what happens when you want the world to work one way but it actually works another.

Often, your desire for your vision to reign supreme will clash with reality. You may want your team to automatically buy into accessibility as a priority and expect them to magically figure out what needs to be done and then do it.

No buy-in

Jamming accessibility down the throats of designers and developers is a surefire recipe for disaster. Without proper understanding and buy-in, you risk creating resentment and resistance rather than fostering collaboration inside your team.

The people doing the discovery and deciding on the implementation should be the same people who will have to implement the change. Especially with something like accessibility, you will have disagreement. Without a culture of collaboration, you won't be able to see disagreement as a source for new ideas.

Accessibility above all else

Expecting your team to put accessibility above all else is a noble, but impractical aspiration. While accessibility is undoubtedly crucial, it's just one piece of the product development puzzle. Be mindful you don't develop tunnel vision and neglect other essential aspects such as functionality and usability.

You need to find the delicate balance between accessibility and other priorities, without swinging the pendulum too far in one direction.

The team will figure it out

The misguided belief that your team will figure out accessibility on their own is a dangerous assumption. Accessibility is a specialized skill that requires training and expertise. Relying on trial and error or expecting developers and designers to magically become accessibility wizards overnight is setting everyone up for failure. Investing in proper training and resources is essential for fostering a culture of accessibility within the team.

Instead of clinging to the desire for the world to conform to your wishes, you would do well to embrace the reality of accessibility requirements. This means ditching the impulse to jam accessibility down throats, recognising the importance of balance, and investing in proper accessibility training.

And with this, we've covered the three common causes for bad decisions when thinking about accessibility.

Did you enjoy this bite-sized message?

I send out short emails like this every day to help you gain a fresh perspective on accessibility and understand it without the jargon, so you can build more robust products that everyone can use, including people with disabilities.

You can unsubscribe in one click and I will never share your email address.