Accessibility MindMap

This week we have a MindMap on Accessibility.  The topic hasn’t moved on much in the past 5 years or so.  There use to be a lot of discussion on this, but not so much anymore.

Within the MindMap there is the standard mention of markup and content for accessibility, but we’ve also included a few tips and aspects to consider slightly outside the norm of just testing the website / software.

I feel there is probably alot more to research on this topic.  For example, I’m not entirely convinced how accessible Facebook apps are.  Touch Screen devices for mobiles and tablets are another area worth investigating.

I feel perhaps the talk of accessibility has died down a bit because software professionals are more educated on the topic and perhaps consider it more as part of the entire UX.

Below is the MindMap. With a text list beneath it.

Enjoy and let us know what you think!



Download (zip) You can also download the MindMap files here – Image, PDF, text, SimpleMind file.



  • Name & Title
  • NoFrames Content: Inadequate – Empty – Missing
  • Provided transcript/captions
  • CAPTCHA: Is it necessary? – Provide audio version
  • Watch out for…Missing Content
  • Watch out for….important information not available
  • Watch out for…multimedia content not being in sync with other content.
  • Watch out for…play buttons – accessible play controls
  • Be aware of colour blindness
  • Ensure sufficient contrast
  • Don’t rely on colour to convey information
  • Order of content needs implementing
  • Or provide equivalent accessible format
  • Increase text size
  • Is it readable at twice the size?
  • Turn off images
  • Images off: Is it still usable?
  • Images off: Colour contrast still ok?
  • Images off: Do background images make a difference?
  • Alt text: For all images
  • Alt text: Null alt text for decorational images
  • Alt text: Be brief
  • Avoid using images as text
Flashing content
  • Should not flash/blink more than 3 times a second
  • Links: contain readable text
  • Descriptive links
  • Avoid repetitive link text – eg: ‘Click Here’
  • Tab Focus: User should be able to see where they are when navigating with tab key
  • Use <label> for all fields
  • Use <fieldests> with <legends> to associate prompts for radio buttons and check boxes
  • Errors: Should be in readable text
  • Should be close to error or in prominent location
  • Can it be read if user changes colours and sizes themselves?
  • Logical tab order
  • Tab Order: Use ‘tabindex’ if necessary
  • Page Titles: beware of…wrong descriptions
  • Page Titles: beware of…missing titles
  • Page Titles: beware of…same titles for every page
  • Separate structure from design
  • Provide ‘skip to content’ links
  • Show primary human language using ‘Lang’ attribute
  • Use appropriate header attributes
  • Data Tables: not for layout or design
  • Data Tables: headers in data tables – use <th>, ensure data cells are associated with headers
  • Use html tags appropriately: <p> , <li>, <ol>, etc
  • Style sheet friendly
General Tips
  • Don’t assume users know how to change text size, or settings in general
  • Built in accessibility features in OS’s
  • Extreme zoom is often used By people with some sight

Switch these off…is it accessible?

  • Scripts
  • Applets
  • JavaScript
  • Flash

Should other information about ‘accessibility’ be available? (Where relevant)

  • What’s the closest transport links to their location?
  • Do they have accessible premises?
  • Parking?
  • Child friendly?
  • Wheelchair friendly?
  • Recruitment: what’s their policy on recruiting for diversity?
  • Use validators as a guide
  • Test with real users where possible
Test Tools



Colour contrast

  • Many tools out there! Ask Google!

Screen readers

  • Jaws
  • Browse Aloud
  • Fire Vox
  • Many more listed here:

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4 Responses to “Accessibility MindMap”

  1. DanJune 19, 2012 at 1:12 pm #

    I’m loving this series of Mindmaps! Have you seen or considered a logical method of testing for grammar / punctuation issues? At the moment, I’m adding common hotspots to a regex bookmarklet, but it’s a tricky science.

    Also, in Accessibility > Content > Forms, it should read “fieldsets”.

    • Rosie SherryJune 19, 2012 at 1:25 pm #

      Hey Dan…thanks for the nice comment, it’s appreciated!

      I was hoping someone would spot an error, I knew there was bound to be one. I will update it in due course.

      Tell me more about punctuation/grammar things you speak of…interested to know more. I’m very much choosing topics as people mention them or as they come to mind.

      Email me if you like – rosie[at]

  2. StefanJune 22, 2012 at 6:24 am #

    Hi Rosie,

    Your mind map series is excellent. I carefully examined each one.
    Would you consider making one for Usability? I don’t have that much experience in Usability Testing and could use a starting point.



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