Web Accessibility: An EBSCO UX Designer’s Perspective


EBSCO Information Services has partnered with The Carroll Center for the Blind, using accessible design to create a better user experience for all researchers.

EBSCO Information Services (EBSCO) Lead UX Engineer Wendee Fiorillo writes about the Carroll Center partnership and its impact on all users.

EBSCO Information Services recently partnered with The Carroll Center for the Blind, which is particularly exciting from a design and development point of view. Making accessible web sites and web applications can be challenging. As a user experience designer with a focus on accessibility, a big part of what makes creating accessible web content difficult is not including accessibility in the beginning stages of the design process and not having access to user feedback. EBSCO’s partnership with The Carroll Center is an opportunity to have more channels for feedback and communication throughout the phases of our design and development cycles.

For the early stages of our process, we are working with Bruce Howell from The Carroll Center to define user personas based on varying user needs and abilities. These user personas will help us better understand the journey of an assistive technology user and the different pain points they may experience along the way. Understanding users and their needs will help guide and inform our business, design, and development decisions as we continue to make meaningful enhancements to our products.

Another way this partnership is proving to be helpful is in both validating and busting our designs, assumptions and thought processes. Even with a great number of development resources on accessibility guidelines, authoring practices and the technical expertise of our accessibility subject matter experts (SME) in house, we still need to be mindful the overall user experience. Working with The Carroll Center helps us gain a deeper understanding of how users navigate with various assistive technologies and gives our teams the ability to explore alternative designs and implementations to remove or reduce complexity for all users.