How Can We Integrate Accessibility Into Our Coding Toolkits?: CodeNewbie Podcast

May 25, 2023

Yesterday on our podcast, we had on Daniel Devesa Derksen-Staats, Senior Accessibility iOS Engineer at Spotify to discuss how we can all add accessibility into our coding toolkits.

Dani has previously loved working at Skyscanner or the BBC, where he learned a ton about how to make iOS apps more accessible. Sometimes he lets Xcode have a break and spreads the love for accessibility at conferences. Author of the “Developing Accessible iOS Apps” book, he keeps himself busy by writing a daily tweet about accessibility and iOS with the hashtag #365DaysIOSAccessibility.

If you didn’t get a chance to listen already, find that episode below or wherever you get your podcasts:

Upon listening to the podcast, we wanted to discuss some of the tips that Dani shared with us about creating accessible products.

So, What Is Accessibility?

Accessibility is making sure our products work for everyone, regardless of their ability.

How Can I Make My Own Products More Accessible?

  1. When we can build accessibility tests and features into our processes of creating a product, we can create better solutions than adding in accessibility features at the end of a project.

  2. There are many different entry points to making your product more accessible. Accessibility functions can range from optimizing for Screen Readers and Voice Overs to achieving optimal color contrast, grouping and ordering components, conveying information in different modes, and offering larger touch target sizes.

  3. There are also plenty of accessibility features that benefit able-bodied individuals, such as dynamic type, dark mode, and subtitles.

  4. Our products have to be capable to support both permanent and impermanent disabilities. People may go through shifts in their lives in which they sustain an injury or support an infant, in which their needs on an app can shift. Folks may experience degradation of motor function or eyesight as well, meaning that our accessibility functions must be able to be customized throughout their use.

  5. When choosing which accessibility functions to prioritize first on a product, it can be helpful to run statistical data about your market’s demographic. However, make sure to conduct research outside of your data, because some of this data may not account for the full picture of what features could be needed.

If you listened— what did you learn?

Send us your thoughts below on how you have made your products accessible and don’t forget to give this episode a listen here or wherever you listen to your podcasts! 💜

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