As humans we understand our own limitations. It’s difficult to understand others limitations because we see the world through our own lens’. To understand what others go through we need to increase our empathy.
Here are a few tips to increase your empathy. As you try these tips, note your own levels of frustration. Ask yourself, “What can I do to reduce the frustration of others?”
- Navigate a web page without a mouse.
- Navigate a web page without your monitor.
- Navigate video content without audio.
Here are a few solutions to accomplish the empathy inducers outlined above:
- To navigate without a mouse you need to use the keyboard. Try pressing tab and shift+tab to move forward and backwards, respectively, through the web page.
- To navigate without a monitor you’ll need a screen reader. In Windows 10 you can activate Narrator by pressing control+Windows+Enter. You can also obtain the free screen reader NVDA from https://www.nvaccess.org. If you are on a Mac, try activating Voiceover with command+f5.
- To view video content without any audio output you’ll need captions enabled in your media player.
Were you able to complete the tasks without frustration? If yes, then kudos to you! It must be a sign that you have chosen and/or developed accessible digital media by ensuring:
- Elements on the page have a usable tab order.
- Elements on the page can be seen by a screen reader.
- Videos have captions.
These are three big steps towards reducing the frustration of users who rely on alternative methods of perceiving information. Thank you for all you do!