Build a (better) world: IA as inclusive design
May 24, 2018
Accessibility has been a legal requirement for decades, and a moral one for longer, but increasing numbers of businesses and other institutions are finally starting to treat it as a priority. Most accessibility guidelines focus on basic interface usability, but real inclusive design requires us to go beyond UI improvements and build experiences that make sense to everyone. Luckily, IA gives us the tools to build a coherent digital world, and once you’ve done that, getting contrast levels and alt-text right is (relatively) easy. Even if you aren’t under any pressure to make your site accessible, come learn how to build structures that turn your experience into one that makes sense to humans (not just executives). You’ll learn what makes IA inclusive, approaches for content and navigation modeling that set a good foundation, and other techniques that create coherence across diverse access needs.
Sarah Barrett is the senior information architect for Microsoft Docs, where she works with content creators, engineers, and executives to bring order to one of the largest sources of technical information anywhere. Her practice, developed on projects for companies like Adobe, the University of Washington, and Expedia, melds the lessons of old-school information science with enterprise-level data analysis and just enough research. Sarah holds a master’s from the University of Washington in Library and Information Science.