For the Open Source Studio Class, we were assigned to make the accessibility audit of a website. Since Itay and I are currently working in UX and QA for the next Adjacent issue (Adjacent is the online journal of emerging media published by ITP) and making it accessible is mandatory for us, I decided to audit it.
It is important to note that the page is not officially published yet, as we do have some design features to review, images to add and links to set. As we will be doing do in the next few days, this review could guide us on what’s missing regarding accessibility so we can launch it next Monday when it’s ready – and accessible!
The methodology was a complementary use of the WAVE – Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool and the Mac screen reader Voice Over.
The WAVE tool analyzes the writing code and the design issues related to the accessibility guidelines defined by the W3C in the WCAG. We can see we have several errors. I noted the absence of a header, which should be fixed. The other errors though are mainly regarding the use of the same links that is being used now as a placeholder for when all articles and pages are published.
Regarding colors, everything seems to be ok and accessible!
The website was also audited by using Mac VoiceOver. This was proven to be very hard, since there is no final content on in, and the repeated placeholders made everything confusing. I will definitely need to get back and redo this accessibility audit once we have the final version of the website.
Open source is a way to create digital projects. To share your ideas, to help and get help. To co-create and make projects happen. Open Source – ideally – is an extension of what the utopia of the internet is: democratic, accessible and collaborative.
Even though Open Source represent all of the amazing rainbow shiny things mentioned above, I’ve never contributed to any Open Source project. I have definitely flirted, and still am actively flirting with some, but it’s usually more of a platonic relationship rather than a collaborative one.
I really identify with Vesha Parker said in almost all of her interview with Jen Kagan, mostly when she mentions how intimidated she was about actively collaborating on Open Source Projects. As a beginner on programming, I don’t feel that I am quite prepared to start trying to fix issues or to be part of a community of “experts”.
Like I’m not on that level yet.
I see projects like Serenata de Amor, Three.js, AR.js and it really inspires me to keep studying and looking forward to becoming a better coder. I do believe in the quote by Matt Mullenweg, also mentioned in the Vesha Parker interview, that “open source is a moral thing”. We should support each other and look forward to create tools hat can help users, that can make content and data more democratic and to make this process explicit and accessible.
I hope that with this class I can “break the ice” and actively become part of the open source community.
In sum, for me, Open Source is: democratic, collaborative, a great way to help change the world AND intimidating – YET.