Including Every User: Designing for User Diversity

Nov 20, 2017 · Kitchener, Canada

Do you know who uses the websites you design, develop or own? The truth, especially for websites in the wild, is that you can never know for sure. And, humanity is diverse. Perceptions, signatures, and thought processes are unique across people. Likewise, the ways in which different users perceive the web interface, operate the controls and understand the content are equally diverse. What method could we adopt to manage this madness and create robust websites? Inclusive Design is one answer.

At D2L, we are passionate about reaching every learner. Join us to hear our thoughts and practices for including every user through designing for user diversity. Introducing personas of users with diverse abilities, we will illustrate the variations in their interaction needs. We will also share design and development checklists and best practices that help in creating websites that are optimally perceivable, operable, understandable and robust.

Sam Chandrashekar is Accessibility Program Manager at D2L. Her primary mandate is to support the designers, developers, testers and product owners in infusing accessibility and inclusive design into D2L’s products. Sam also provides accessibility-related inputs to Sales and Partnership groups when required. At other times, she is busy weaving accessibility into the fabric of D2L through culture change initiatives in collaboration with HR. Sam holds a PhD in Information Systems from the iSchool at the University of Toronto and an M.Sc. in Human-Computer Interaction & Ergonomics from University College London, UK. She is also an Adjunct Professor at OCAD University, Toronto, supervising thesis research in their Master of Design program in Inclusive Design.

Carin Headrick has been an accessibility tester at D2L for 6 years. Prior to that, she was involved in various accessibility initiatives concerning the web and the physical environment. She believes everyone can succeed if they have the right tools.

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