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Just turn up the heat

2 minutes read

When I was young, my mom used to always make me the same apple cake for my birthday. The batter was so simple to make that I learned it as well. I'm not a baker, but this cake, this cake I can do without looking at the recipe.

Here it is:

  • 7 eggs
  • 7 spoons of sugar
  • 7 spoons of flour
  • rum and vanilla essence
  • 5-6 entire apples, depending on the size

Peal the apples, take out the core, leaving them whole, and put them in a tray in the oven with some cinnamon powder sprinkled on top. While they get soft, separate the egg yolks, beat the whites and add the yolks, one at a time, then the flour, one spoon at a time, then the sugar, one spoon at a time. Mix in the rum and vanilla.

Pour the batter on top of the apples and throw it back in the oven.

The cake takes 25 to 30 minutes to bake at 160 degrees (I think that's 320 Fahrenheit). You'll be tempted to turn up the heat to bake it faster. But if you turn up the heat to 320 (608F), the cake won't be done in half the time. It'll be burnt and inedible.

You can't rush a cake by turning up the heat, growing crops by adding lots of water, healing from an injury by going to the gym more often, or shipping an accessible website by skipping crucial stages in the development process.

So the lesson extends far beyond my mom's kitchen. I've seen countless web projects rushed to meet deadlines, only to result in subpar, inaccessible websites.

When we rush through accessibility audits, skip user testing with assistive technologies, or shortcut ARIA implementation, we're essentially cranking up that oven to 608 degrees. We'll launch the site much faster, but it won't do us much good. Instead of an inclusive experience, users with disabilities will encounter a "burnt" website. It'll be frustrating, inaccessible and sometimes completely unusable.

So we need to bake accessibility into every stage, from planning, design, development and testing. And when we're done, and we put it out there, we need to continuously improve based on user feedback.

Some things simply require patience and time to unfold properly. Few things can be rushed. Accessibility is not one of them.

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