Harvard Business Review Explores Product Accessibility Best Practices

In a powerful article about how companies fail people with disabilities, Harvard Business Review highlights a number of important accessibility best-practices that address common errors including:

  • Expecting users to do the lion’s share of development work of a new product
  • Under-resourcing accessibility maintenance
  • Failure to address accessibility throughout the entire customer experience
  • Not integrating accessibility into internal workflows

At Cognitopia, we learned a lot from this article and found encouragement in a number of things that have long been a part of our design and development process. Our creation of self-management tools for people with cognitive disabilities has continually benefited from the open and deep involvement of its user base. For instance, we have a close collaboration with school district transition students who meet with us weekly to provide design input and usability feedback.

Feedback is gathered on Cognitopia’s MyLife Portfolio tools from key users. Image: cognitopia.com

That partnership means building your product out in the open, involving a diverse community of users from the earliest stages. Allow for a continual, positive feedback-iteration loop where users see the results each time and are let in on your thinking about why decisions were made.

– Harvard business review, 4 Common Ways Companies Alienate People with Disabilities by Cat Noone, Nov 29, 2021

There are many useful nuggets of accessibility wisdom to be had in this short, five-minute read. Enjoy!

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