Preview: Designing for Accessibility

Jordan Dunn is a Senior Product Designer at WillowTree. They work with Fortune 500 companies such as Regal Cinemas, Wyndham and Johnson & Johnson. Dunn began designing when he was a teenager who was heavy into video games and the group he played with wanted a website. Flash was the big program back then and that is what he taught himself to use to create that website. At the time, his dad noticed he stopped playing video games as much as he was focusing more on the design and he told him to look into careers in that field and he hasn’t looked back since.

I reached out to Jordan Dunn to talk about his upcoming panel:

Used with permission by Jordan Dunn.

What is the focus of your panel?

The focus will be on designing for Accessibility – specifically visual accessibility. I’ll go into detail on the need and focus on how we can help those who have visual impairments better access our apps with design and development changes that have benefits drastically outweighing the cost.

What inspired your company to speak at SXSW?

It made perfect sense to push for accessibility as we see advances in technology we’re seeing those advances take place in the accessibility arena and SXSW is all about pushing the needle forward, whether it’s art, design or music.

Why should we attend your panel?

The need is apparent, but empathizing with accessibility needs can be difficult, which is why features and needs are outlined from actual quotes from those with the specific need. We’ll also be giving real world examples of what current apps are doing and also highlighting an interview with Lyft’s accessibility expert on best practices.

What do you want the audience to takeaway from your panel?

A passion to learn more. Accessibility is a large topic, and in 1 hour you’ll catch a glimpse of what the need is and how to help. After the talk, go home or to work, and help spread the knowledge and keep learning and working to improve accessibility practices at your job.

What inspired you to come up with the idea of this panel?

Over a year and a half ago, I went in for LASIK which did not go well and actually hindered my eyesight more so than it was before the surgery. I continue to go through vision therapy and will not regain my vision to what it was. During the first 6 months, I was unable to see anything on my phone or laptop and was hindered greatly in my day-to-day life. This helped me see just a small glimpse of what people with vision accessibility needs go through. Which led me to have an increased passion for the topic.

Here is a sneak peak into Jordan’s panel:

a. My story on how I experienced temporary vision disabilities
b. Gaining Empathy for accessibility
c. Interviews with those who have accessibility needs
d. Ways to help users keep their independence through accessible apps and websites

You can reach Jordan Dunn on Twitter and LinkedIn.

When and Where:

Sunday, March 12
11 a.m. – 12 p.m.
JW Marriott – Salon H / 110 E 2nd St

Find out more: Designing for Accessibility

If you can’t make the talk, be sure to check out the SXSW info as we’ll have links to full presentation download, along with a toolkit to help your company become more accessible