The Best of the Internets

Performance Is a Feature

Excellent post on the importance of web page performance:

Performance isn’t a technical niggle that “we should get around to fixing”. It is an opportunity to grow your audience, to grow your business, to convert more sales (or whatever it is eCommerce people do).

Performance is an opportunity, and a risk, the same way that a redesigned template is. Or a new logo. Or a change to the colour of a button CTA.

See also: Tim Kadlec’s 2012 post on 24 Ways.

Building a More Accessible Web Platform

I’m so incredibly excited about this! Highlights:

  • The accessibility tree is no longer a subtree of the DOM;
  • ARIA Landmarks and document structure navigation;
  • Proper computing of accessible name & description;
  • Improved error validity states;
  • Accessible datalist, improved select, and improvements to all list type elements;
  • Keyboard controls for the number field;
  • Accessible input[type=color];
  • Improved high contrast mode (no more removing background images, instead, the image stays and a solid color is placed behind the text);
  • Speech synthesis API;
  • An improved caret on Windows Phone when using an external keyboard; and
  • So much more.

Couple this with the F12 dev tools enhancements and Narrator’s Developer Mode and it’s pretty clear how committed Microsoft is to accessibility. I’m so glad I work here!

Accessibility Is a Process, Not a Project

This post has so much gold. To wit:

While they are very important for testing, screen readers are not testing tools. To be honest, people with disabilities are not running around with AT checking to make sure websites and software work correctly. They’re using it as a means to overcome a technological barrier that would normally keep them from doing something you and I take for granted.