This is a cross-post from Shopify’s UX Medium.
At Shopify, our mission is to make commerce better for everyone. When we say better, we’re talking about caring deeply about making quality products. To us, a quality web product means a few things: certainly beautiful design, engaging copy, and a fantastic user experience, but just as important are inclusivity and the principles of universal design.
“Everyone” is a pretty big group. It includes our merchants, their customers, our developer partners, our employees, and the greater tech community at large, where we love to lead by example. “Everyone” also includes:
- 9.1% of adults with vision trouble [Source: Disability and Functioning, CDC], and 8% of men and 0.5% of women who are color blind [Source: Color Blind Awareness].
- 16.8% of adults with hearing trouble [Source: Disability and Functioning, CDC].
- 15.1% of adults with physical functioning difficulty [Source: Disability and Functioning, CDC].
- 4.4% of adults with cognitive disabilities [Source: 2014 Disability Statistics Annual Report, UNH].
We take our mission to heart, so it’s important that Shopify products are useable and useful to all our users. This is something we’ve been thinking about and working on for a few years, but it’s an ongoing, difficult challenge. Luckily, we love tackling challenging problems and we’re constantly chipping away at this one. We’ve learned a lot from the community and think it’s important to contribute back, so — in celebration of Global Accessibility Awareness Day — we’re thrilled to announce a series of posts on accessibility.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll be releasing posts about some of the real-world problems we’ve faced while trying to make different parts of Shopify accessible and how we’re trying to overcome them. Like many other teams, we’re not starting from scratch: with these posts we want to dig into our approach for making an existing platform accessible. You’ll hear from a bunch of talented people on our UX team — front end developers, designers, content specialists, and user experience researchers — who work closely with engineering and product teams to solve these problems. For this round, we’re releasing seven articles, with a new one dropping every two weeks. We’ll cover:
- In Plain Sight: Text, Contrast, and Accessibility by Ryan Frederick
- How Much is that T-shirt in the Browser Window (accessible pricing in Shopify themes) by Steve Bosworth
- Writing for all people: how to use alternative text well by Elizabeth Sahadeo
- Semantic HTML: The unbearable rightness of being by Dave Newton
- Lessons from building mobile-friendly, accessible data tables by Tetsuro Takara
- How to run accessibility testing demos by Arthur Gouveia
- Creating an accessible culture by Monika Piotrowicz
We hope you’ll find these useful and that they’ll help you make your product (and industry!) better for everyone. Feel free to drop us comments and questions in the posts; we want this to be a conversation.
PS If you’re passionate about quality and are looking for an awesome place to work, check out our Careers page.