Articles & research papers


Accessible Forms: Guidelines, Examples and Accessible JavaScript Tricks

You will find here:

  • A list of form guidelines based on current and on-going research into accessibility, usability and web standards.
  • Simple examples of accessible forms including: a login form, a search form and a contact form.
  • Examples and help on each form element.
  • Styling forms with CSS.
  • Using accessible inline JavaScript to aide form functionality.
  • Using accessible JavaScript with the DOM to aide form functionality.
  • A comprehensive list of external form related articles and resources.

Accessible forms: Guidelines, examples and accessible JavaScript tricks

Colour Contrast Analyser

The Colour Contrast Analyser (CCA) helps you determine the legibility of text and the contrast of visual elements, such as graphical controls and visual indicators.

This tool provides two useful core functionalities:

  1. It provides a pass/fail assessment against Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 color contrast success criteria.
  2. It simulates certain visual conditions such as including dichromatic color-blindness and cataracts, to demonstrate how your web content appears to people with less than 20/20 vision.

The CCA is available for Windows and Mac, and in multiple languages including English, French, Dutch, Italian, German, Hindi, Korean and traditional Chinese.

Note: the visual simulation functionality is only available in the Windows version.

Colour Contrast Analyser

A Huge List of Web Accessibility Evaluation Tools

Here is a list of over a hundred accessibility evaluations tools, available on the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Accessibility (WAI) site. You can have a look at the complete list or use the search to look for a tool you are interested in.

Complete List of Web Accessibility Evaluation Tools

Top 5 posts at The UX Bookmark in 2012

I wish you, all my readers, a wonderful 2013. These are the five posts which people read the most in 2012.

  1. A huge list of Style Guides and UI Guidelines
  2. Free User Experience books (Interaction design, HCI, web accessibility & Information Architecture)
  3. Download IDEO’s Human Centered Design Toolkit
  4. Ergonomics for Interaction Designers
  5. Mobile Prototyping Essentials

The Use of Virtual Worlds Among People with Disabilities

It may appear that with their emphasis on 3D graphics and complex interface controls, gaming interfaces and virtual worlds have little to offer people with disabilities. However, virtual worlds serve as a form of augmented reality where users transcend physiological or cognitive challenges to great social and therapeutic benefit. A number of intriguing developments exist within the accessibility sector: haptic input devices for the blind, virtual regions developed according to Universal Design principles, communities dedicated to people with cognitive disorders, the use of the avatar as counsellor, applications in higher education, and customizable personae that either transcend or represent a disabled person’s self-identity.

The Use of Virtual Worlds Among People with Disabilities (PDF, 5.7 mb)

Be Kind to the Color Blind- Color Blind Accessibility

The author has a color vision deficiency. Like roughly 7-10% of all males, his deuteranomaly makes it difficult to differentiate between some colors, like red and green. Color deficiency, or color blindness as it’s commonly referred to, doesn’t mean that he or people with similar conditions cannot see certain colors. They’re not invisible and he doesn’t see in black and white (a condition that is actually very, very rare). He can still use crayons effectively, find meaning in beautiful sunsets and even enjoy clear blue skies. What it does mean is that certain colors in the visual spectrum look a lot like one another and so he has a hard time sometimes telling the difference between certain colors and even shades.

Because of this, designing software and interfaces that will also work effectively for people like him takes a bit of concerted effort. Be cognizant of color blind accessibility issues. Of all the elements of design (line, shape, size, texture, etc.), color is probably one of the most used elements to pass on informational states. This is probably because it allows a designer to say many things without having to change the form or layout of the design. While there are a number of simulators and plugins that can help you “visualize” what a color deficient person might be seeing, he doesn’t recommend spending a lot of time with them. Instead, he would like to propose just a few simple guidelines along with plenty of examples to help the reader effectively ensure that a good percentage of their audience won’t misinterpret the intended message.

Be Kind to the Color Blind

Designing Web Sites for Older Adults: A Review of Recent, Relevant Research (2004)

In this document from 2004, then recent, relevant research about Web site design and older adult users are reviewed. From the research reviewed here, the authors developed a set of heuristics to use in persona-based, task-based reviews of 50 Web sites that older adult users are likely to go to.

Designing Web Sites for Older Adults: A Review of Recent, Relevant Research (PDF, 380 kb)

This document was published on December 14, 2004.

Designing web sites for older adults: Expert review of usability for older adults at 50 web sites

In this document from 2005, findings from an expert review of 50 Web sites are presented. In a variation on the traditional heuristic evaluation methodology, heuristics were derived from research about older adults and Web design to perform persona-based, task-based reviews of Web sites that older adult users are likely to go to. The heuristics are extracted from our findings in Designing Web Sites for Older Adults: A Review of Recent, Relevant Research.

Designing web sites for older adults: Expert review of usability for older adults at 50 web sites (PDF, 1.7 mb)


Colblindor is a website where content focuses on color blindness. One can learn a lot of colorblind facts while browsing through the articles, try one of the tools or take a color vision deficiency test. Have a look at the most frequently asked questions or else contact the author in case any unanswered questions remain.


Free Nielsen Norman Group Report- Beyond ALT Text: Making the Web Easy to Use for Users With Disabilities

The free report by Nielsen Norman Group (otherwise valued at $124) based purely on empirical evidence from user testing contains:

  • Results of usability tests of 19 websites with users with several different types of disabilities who are using a range of assistive technology:
    • blind users using screen readers
    • blind users using Braille readers
    • low-vision users using screen magnifiers
    • motor-impaired users
  • Test data collected mainly in the United States, with some additional studies in Japan to ensure the international applicability of the recommendations
    • A total of 104 users participated in the usability studies:
    • 84 users with disabilities
    • 20 non-disabled users who served as a control group
  • 75 detailed design guidelines

The report is richly illustrated with 46 screenshots of designs that worked well or that caused difficulties for users with disabilities in the usability tests as well as 23 photos of assistive technology devices. The examples and guidelines are directly based on empirical observation of actual user behavior.

This report addresses the usability of websites and intranets and addresses the second level (good usability after ensuring technical accessibility).

Beyond ALT Text: Making the Web Easy to Use for Users With Disabilities