Accessibility / Digital Inclusion: Benjamin-Newton.com and Cloudy.diamonds

Guiding Principles

Accessibility improves design for everyone, regardless of anything about them.

  • I use the traditional way of web design, which lends itself to better accessibility for everyone.
  • I have continued to learn about web design for over 20 years.
  • I am disabled myself and getting older. So I am preparing my website for when I (in addition to suffering from a mental illness) likely will have more physical limitations as well.
  • I think the website designer should optimize their site for the beginning user as the advanced users should be more able to figure things out, then the other way around.
  • I agree with the mantra - Do Not Make Me Think. This means that a user should not need to think to just browse a website. Unlike art, design is about how things work, not how they look, given they don’t look jarring. People only have so much emotional energy throughout the day and I do not want to be wasteful with this resource.

Obvious Things

  • My website loads much faster than normal websites.
  • My website font is larger and more readable than many.
  • I have very high contrast between text and background colors.
  • I make navigation front and center, instead of hiding or obscuring it.
  • My website has no invasive or aggressive design elements.
  • My website has no ads, tracking or asking for money or information in any form.
  • I put all my effort into a website instead of mobile apps to reach as many people as possible. This also allows me to not bet on any technology and allows there to be fewer barriers to accessibility.
  • I aim for 100% quality and zero defects (although there always will be some).

Less Obvious Things

  • Everything on the website is available free of charge.
  • I even give earlier versions of my website designs for others to incorporate these principles for themselves minus the content, fonts, colors, and graphics.
  • I ruthlessly simplify my webpage elements, while adding as much context as possible, without being overwhelming.
  • I have basically the same layout by page type, without many modifications, for different sizes.
  • My website can scale up to 200% without breaking the layout on tablet and phone.
  • I make well thought out print designs for my web pages that are easily readable with big readable fonts and that conserve ink and color.
  • I have machine translated my books into 4 different languages.
  • I have a braille version of my best of book collections 4-8.
  • I carefully consider the technical side effects of special effects and only use them when I feel they are worth the cost.
  • I am constantly reading up on website design best practices.

General Technical Things

  • My website is efficient in use of memory and bandwidth.
  • I carefully consider every technology available.
  • I make almost everything hosted on my website myself incuding content, graphics, and designs
  • I have no user uploaded content or third party hosting.
  • I use multiple common and ubiquitous file formats for content.
  • I have become very organized and now use careful naming conventions.
  • I test as much as possible within my budget.
  • I am not dependent on any one tool or technology.

Specific Technical Things

  • I use no Javascript at all.
  • I use no forms at all.
  • I use structured documents for all webpages and ePubs as well as PDFs meant for screen reading.
  • I validate page structure for errors when making changes to it.
  • I use vector graphics whenever possible even for photos.
  • I do not interfere with keyboard accessibility.
  • I allow zooming.
  • I make accessible elements available for all users.
  • I have the correct page (human) languages marked correctly.