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November 2015

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Accessible blogging - Top tips

Accessible blogging - Top tips

I sit, staring at a screen more blank than my expression. Sometimes it can be so hard to write a blog, let alone write one that's accessible to people with disabilities. When doing so, there are many things to consider, for example Screenreader compatibility. Below is a list of things to keep in mind that may help you.

(So that you don't abandon my blog to instead watch a YouTube cat playing the piano, I've kept it brief, plus we all love a bullet point, right?)


- Use real text not text within graphics.
- Choose simple, easy to read, sans serif fonts such as Arial.
- Limit number of fonts.
- Ensure sufficient contrast between the text and the background.
- Avoid small font sizes (less than 12pt).
- Limit the use of font variations such as bold, italics, and ALL CAPITAL LETTERS.
- Underlining is best kept for hyperlinks.
- Numbers: Use symbols (1,2,3), not words. 


- Avoid jargon.
- Avoid too much information on one page/blog.
- Bullet points should be used to break up information (avoid numbered lists).
- Abbreviations and acronyms should be avoided if possible. If not possible, first refer to it in full with the acronym in brackets for example ‘Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)’
- Always check spelling and grammar before publishing. 


- Don’t use 'eg / ie', write ‘for example / specifically’. 
- Don’t use '&', write ‘and’.

And a few final points:

- Images should be used as much as possible.
- Blogs should have meaningful titles that help users identify the page in search results.
- Avoid using ‘click here’. Ideally the purpose of a link is clear, even when the link is viewed on its own.

For those of you who aren't by now listening to the sweet sound of paws on a piano. Here are some links to my other blogs about accessibility that may also be of help:

Accessible Colours and Web Design 

Designing for Accessibility

Screenreader Compatibility Tips

Making Information Accessible

Accessibility at the BBC

Accessibility and the Web

Jordana Jeffrey

Created on Wednesday November 11 2015 10:53 AM

Tags: blog accessibility

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Coming to a high street near you - Amazon

Coming to a high street near you - Amazon

It's interesting to see that Amazon have opened their first 'bricks and mortar' store in University Village, Seattle - a clear departure for an organisation previously critised for helping to end the presence of many bookstores at cost to local communities.

Data plays a huge role in the way the new store operates, with Amazon tapping in to their countless sources of product and customer data which as you'd expect, allows them to do things a little differently. Books are presented on shelves based on customer ratings ("all books on this shelf are rated 4.5 and above") which means titles that are little known, but well loved, get just the same exposure as more recognised books and authors.

There's also shelves for 'most recommend cookbooks' and 'best books for 6 to 12 year olds' and customer reviews are placed on cards directly below each book.

Amazon have also made the decision to lay all books out 'cover facing', rather than stacked with only their spine showing. Whilst this obviously reduces the number of books that can be displayed, Amazon feel it's more important to give each book as much and as equal exposure as they can.

Another advantage Amazon will have is utilising their huge selling power on unsold stock, something that high street bookstores have consistently struggled with.

And more stores? An Amazon spokesperson said "We hope this is not our only one. But we’ll see."

It may be another step on the marketing juggernaut that is Amazon, but it's interesting to see how data from the web experience is being used in the physical world. 

Simon Newing

Created on Thursday November 05 2015 09:04 AM


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