Product Design: Why Accessibility Needs To Be Prioritized In Product Design

Laura Allen, Accessibility Program Manager at Google (left) and Poornima Vijayashanker, founder of Femgineer (right)

Interview with Laura Allen, Accessibility Program Manager at Google for Chrome and the Chrome Operating System

It’s a new month and with it a brand new theme for our upcoming Build episodes! When designing products we often think about usability: how easy to use a product is. But we often overlook another aspect of product design: accessibility. So all this month we’re going to dive into accessibility.

One reason accessibility gets overlooked is because we think it’s a challenge to prioritize it given a company’s size and resources. We may think accessibility makes sense for a big company, but a startup that is getting off the ground just doesn’t have the resources to incorporate it.

Well, actually that’s not true…

In fact, accessibility maybe just the differentiator you need when it comes to product design that is going to give your product a competitive advantage and increase adoption!

And in today’s episode, we’re going to explore what accessibility is, why it’s important for any size company to incorporate, and show you how to do an accessibility audit for your product.

To help us out, I’ve invited Laura Allen, who is the Accessibility Program Manager at Google for Chrome and the Chrome operating system.

You’ll learn:

  • What accessibility is and how it’s different from usability
  • How accessibility influences user adoption of products
  • How companies will benefit by incorporating accessibility into product development process, priorities, and core values
  • Examples of common accessibility issues that impact all of us at various moments in our lives
  • How to do an accessibility audit for your product and the 4 important principles to consider each time

Here are some additional resources to checkout that Laura mentioned in the video:

Finally, we’d love to learn from you! If you have already embraced accessibility let Laura and I know how your company handle it in the comments below.

Listen to the episode on iTunes!

You can listen to this episode of Build on iTunes.

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Check out these additional resources on product design:

Build is produced as a partnership between Femgineer and Pivotal Tracker. San Francisco video production by StartMotionMEDIA.

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