A lot of websites are esthetically pleasing, but ergonomically challenging. Everyone has felt the frustration of clicking around arbitrarily and getting lost, just looking for something like contact information. Imagine swiping blindfolded.
Tim in ’t Veld is visually impaired. When confronting website creators with his problems, the response usually is somewhere along the lines of: “I’m so sorry, but it is simply too expensive to make websites and apps suitable for your handful of peers.” At first glance, that answer might seem reasonable. At second glance, not so much.
With urban space growing increasingly expensive, making buildings with narrow hallways saves a lot of money. You certainly can’t create wider rooms just for those handful of visitors in wheelchairs, right? Somehow that sort of thinking sounds unreasonable to almost everyone.
In ’t Veld frames design in a more abstract manner. In doing so, he comes up with solutions that feel completely logical once established. Ofcourse, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. A big retailer overhauled its flashy webshop into a purely text-based site with a clear structure. Turnover rose. Surely those five blind guys bought stuff? Turns out customers with perfect vision preferred the new look as well.
The disabled user is not a source of extra cost. A disability constitutes the Litmus Test for user interfaces. A product or service that is designed to be accessible for everyone right away, is simply better by default. If In ’t Veld can use it, then everyone can.