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The daily fire drill

2 minutes read

Picture this. You're working your butt off to push out that shiny new feature. Everyone's feeling the pressure cooker heat, but you get it done and you pat yourselves on the back for a job well done.

Plot twist!

Not everyone can use it. You didn't pay attention to colour contrast, so your users with low vision can't see the text. You didn't test without a mouse, so no one can navigate it with their keyboard. You thought the disappearing placeholder text was an amazing, but now your form controls aren't labeled and your users were relying on their screen readers to help them fill in the form.


That's ok! You know how to handle this. You scramble, test right in production, fix those issues, close those tickets and again you pat yourself on the back for a job well done.

Then another curve-ball.

You wake up to another barrage of customer complaints. You forgot that not everyone can see colour. So those red error indicators - yeah, useless. Some of your users didn't know the form had errors before submitting and now they're stuck, clueless why they can't sign up for your service.

Ooops again!

I bet you're sick of this silly game of whack-a-mole. Fighting through the daily fire drill! Talk about a buzzkill.

Here's the thing.

Accessibility isn't a one-time deal. You can't build accessible products on one time interactions. And you definitely can't do it after the fact. That just increases your costs, if you think about redesigning and reworking every feature.

Not to mention the time it takes away from shipping new features.

Not to mention the pressure you're putting on your team.

Not to mention the constant burnout they'll have to face.

The thing about accessibility is that it's not just about slapping on a band-aid. It takes time and dedication. You won't do it in a day, but any day that's not a fire drill is a win.

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.

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