Smashing Podcast Episode 47 With Sara Soueidan: Why Does Accessibility Matter?

On this episode of the Smashing Podcast, we ask why accessibility actually issues and why it’s so vital to get it proper. Smashing’s Vitaly Friedman talks in-depth to Sara Soueidan to search out out.

Present Notes

Weekly Replace


Vitaly: She’s an unbiased internet consumer interface and design methods engineer, writer, speaker, and coach based mostly in Lebanon. She labored with firms and businesses all around the globe from Netflix, and Telus, and the Royal Schiphol Group at Amsterdam airport, simply to call just a few, the place she constructed digital merchandise with give attention to accessibility efficiency and naturally innovative tech.

Vitaly: Now, she additionally writes stunning and really complete, very, very complete articles throughout front-end SVG accessibility on her fantastic weblog. And he or she’s additionally working, which could be a rumor; we’ll discover out on her very personal video course on internet accessibility. So, in all, she’s an skilled in creating accessible and exquisite interfaces.

Vitaly: However do you know that she loves tea, drawings, and birds and has raised greater than a dozen of them all through her life? So, I shouldn’t be stunned to listen to the birds chirping when we now have a name simply now. My smashing mates, please welcome Sara Soueidan. Hi there, Sara, how are you?

Sara: I’m smashing. How are you?

Vitaly: That’s fantastic. I don’t know. I really feel like espresso at present. I had already three, and I really feel like I ought to get forth, however you’re not massive on espresso, are you?

Sara: No. I’ve my matcha sitting proper subsequent to me proper now.

Vitaly: Okay. That may be a really stunning begin to the dialog. However what’s your favourite tea, if I’ll ask?

Sara: My favourite tea, if we’re not counting matcha as tea, regardless that it’s really tea, but when… okay. So, I’d say it’s both a matcha or ginger tea. I like ginger.

Vitaly: Okay. Now, expensive mates, in the event you ever need to ship any presents to Sara, you recognize what to ship. Now, staying on the subject of meals and drinks, and drinks, it’s attention-grabbing, Sara, as a result of I do know we’ve recognized one another for, I don’t know what number of years now. And we even shared pizzas on very totally different events in varied elements of the world, that absolutely counts for one thing.

Vitaly: And one factor that actually astonishes me once I take into consideration our conversations and I take into consideration you as a persona and simply the unbelievable work that you simply put on the internet, it’s simply extremely troublesome for me to search out many people who find themselves extra enthusiastic about accessibility as you’re.

Vitaly: So, perhaps you can give us a little bit of a background of the place this real empathy and pleasure about accessibility comes from. The place did all of it begin, Sara? The place?

Sara: Would you like the lengthy model reply or the brief model reply?

Vitaly: The very lengthy reply, if I can.

Sara: Are you certain?

Vitaly: No.

Sara: Sure.

Vitaly: Okay. However make a alternative, no matter works for you works for me.

Sara: Okay. So, in order for you some background, I’ve all the time been the sort of one who loves serving to folks, even when they don’t instantly ask for it. So, I’m simply going to offer you a fast instance. Again once I was in school, I feel it was my second 12 months in school or in college, and it was the beginning of the 12 months, and everybody was within the college, and we have been registering and doing all the mandatory paperwork that we wanted to do to start out going to class.

Sara: And there have been lots of people, principally. And there was this one previous man, he was standing in the course of the gang, and he was carrying just a few papers in his hand and a pen. And he regarded completely clueless. I might inform from his facial expressions that he was misplaced. He had no concept what he was presupposed to do.

Sara: So, I approached him and I requested him… I all the time do that, by the best way. I’m unsure if this can be a good factor or a foul factor, however I have a tendency to do that with strangers rather a lot. So, I mentioned, “Is there something I will help you with?” He checked out me, and he mentioned, “I do not know principally the right way to fill the paperwork in.”

Sara: He was there to register his son, who couldn’t be there. So, he was registering him as an alternative, and he didn’t know the right way to do it. And I understand how troublesome it may be the primary time. As a result of my first time, once I went to varsity for the primary time, within the first 12 months, it took me 4 days to register as a result of there was nobody there that will help you.

Sara: You possibly can both discover your method by yourself, otherwise you would simply must ask folks. And in the event you don’t ask anybody, you’re simply sort of stand there like that previous man did. So, I requested him if I might assist him, and he welcomed my assist. I took the paperwork. I took the pen. I began asking him questions and filling within the paperwork for him.

Sara: After which, once I completed, I informed him precisely the place to go subsequent, precisely what to do. And I principally simply helped him as a lot as I might. I do that with lots of people. I don’t know; I feel it’s simply a part of who I’m. Serving to folks makes me really feel superb.

Sara: Even the smallest acts of something that you simply do in your every day life makes them significant and provides them objective. So, to know that I’ve contributed a constructive factor, regardless of how small, into another person’s life is fantastic. And I need my work to have a objective, as effectively.

Sara: So, once I began my profession as a developer, I feel it was in 2013, and that is one thing that I’m sharing for the primary time, I went by means of just a few years the place I felt like what I used to be doing wasn’t very significant, to be sincere. So, I used to be simply doing what I used to be doing simply to make some cash, make a dwelling, and that was it.

Sara: However I might get designs somebody made and switch them into one thing that labored, which is sweet as a result of I like doing that. However as all the time, I stored asking myself for years like, “What good is that this contributing to the world?” I needed to really feel just like the code that I’m writing could make a distinction. And it took a while for me to lastly get there.

Sara: So, I began altering my path, so to talk, by selecting the shoppers that I needed to work with. I began selecting shoppers that did significant issues on the earth. That method, if I assist them create a web site to increase the attain, it meant that I used to be contributing to one thing good on this world, as effectively.

Sara: And I even expressed that on my Rent Me web page, the place I’m explicitly clear that I’m trying to do one thing significant on the earth. So, there’s that. And however, I’ve all the time been fascinated with design, basically. I’ve by no means taken a design class in my life, not in college, not exterior of college, however I’ve all the time been excited about design due to the way it instantly impacted folks’s lives.

Sara: You possibly can perhaps begin to see connection right here. So, I’m going to offer an instance from the adjoining design discipline. Many individuals who’ve been following me for years know that I’m fascinated and really passionate in direction of inside design. And the most effective factor I’ve ever examine inside design is that interiors must be designed round how we reside.

Sara: So, how do you determine what you place within the kitchen, for instance? How do you determine how a lot house you give a sure characteristic or piece of furnishings in the home? The reply is predicated on how typically it’s wanted by the individuals who will reside on this home.

Sara: An ideal inside designer will sit down with their shopper and ask them questions like, “How do you begin your day? What does your typical day seem like? What do you do once you get up within the morning? Do you make money working from home? Do you want having folks over? Do you want entertaining? What are your hobbies?”

Sara: And the solutions to all these questions they requested creates the framework and guides the inside design choices of the home that the shopper will reside in. The home is designed and constructed across the shopper’s lives, not the opposite method round.

Sara: And I like that as a result of if design isn’t about folks, then it’s egocentric, proper? Then, you’re probably not designing for folks anymore. And accessibility and inclusive design basically, however accessibility isn’t the identical as inclusive design. Accessibility design is all about folks.

Sara: There isn’t any room for selfishness, in my view. So, what you design and construct both works for the consumer or it doesn’t. And if it doesn’t, then it wants to alter as a result of what good is something that you simply constructed for folks if they will’t use it?

Sara: So, connecting these two issues, I like design, and I like designing for folks, and I like serving to folks. So, once I first realized about accessibility, and I discovered that a number of the work that I used to be constructing previous to that was presumably creating obstacles to entry for folks.

Sara: I felt horrible. And I began feeling extra duty, and I began digging extra into accessibility and studying extra about it. And what I like probably the most about it’s it makes me really feel extra like a designer. Why? As a result of, effectively, I do consider that every one of us, we’re designers, a technique or one other.

Sara: And the work that we do and the choices that I make as a design engineer once I write code, these choices have a direct influence on the consumer expertise, and that makes me a designer. So, each determination that I make has a direct influence on the expertise and the inclusivity and accessibility of the interfaces I constructed.

Sara: A call akin to, for instance, what HDML ingredient I select to make use of, how do I apply the types as a result of CSS impacts semantics, which have an effect on accessibility, which growth technique I observe, which is a progressive enhancement or one thing else. Whether or not I take advantage of platform options or a third-party library, which library do I select?

Sara: How does it carry out? All of this stuff, they influence your work, and ultimately, the consumer expertise. And design must be about folks. Accessibility is about folks, which signifies that it offers code objective. It offers the work that I do objective, which brings me again… the very first thing that I discussed, I need to really feel like what I’m doing has a objective and is definitely helpful for folks.

Sara: And that is why I like accessibility, basically, as a result of it’s a concrete, sensible sort of design, one thing both works or it doesn’t. And there’s no room for unhealthy choices as a result of it’s in regards to the consumer, not about you. So yeah, I’m enthusiastic about accessibility because-

Vitaly: I might inform. Yeah, that’s unbelievable to listen to. And truly, just a few issues which have actually related the dots for me, as effectively, as a result of once I take into consideration the work that I’m doing, as effectively, I really feel like… we don’t even discover that generally, however all these minor choices in regards to the labeling of navigation and the best way we design navigation, and the best way we make buttons to seem like buttons.

Vitaly: All these issues can have great influence. We would really feel like, “Okay, we’re simply shifting pixels round.” And we’re simply making issues just a little bit extra good, proper? However I feel that the precise vital choices that we find yourself, that we use to essentially assist anyone in numerous conditions, full the duty, to search out data that they want, and so forth.

Vitaly: And one factor that actually comes up in my thoughts each time we now have this dialog is that you simply typically establish your self with a design engineering position. And I see that some groups are shifting in direction of that position now. The place prior to now, it was only a developer, after which it was only a designer, after which it was a front-end developer and backend developer.

Vitaly: And when you’ve got an interface designer, it’s important to use the expertise designer. So, perhaps you can share just a little bit of sunshine on the way you see design engineering as a job. And perhaps lots of our listeners now really are design engineers with out even figuring out that. So, how would you outline it? And do you suppose that firms really perceive what it means?

Sara: I’ve really an essay, not simply an article, an essay that’s all about simply defining the position of a design engineer. And from my viewpoint, I also have a area identify that I bought simply to place that on it. If I attempt to describe it with just some phrases as a result of I already gave a brilliant lengthy reply to the earlier question-

Vitaly: That was an exquisite reply. It wasn’t lengthy in any respect.

Sara: Thanks. Okay. So, as design engineers, we specialise in implementing designs. That’s the normal description, proper? We specialise in implementing designs, however then, after all, there’s the way you implement it. So, I prefer to label myself as an inclusive design engineer, which is one thing that I’m doing on my new web site, which isn’t public but.

Sara: So, an inclusive design engineer is somebody who, in my view, makes use of accessibility and progressive enhancement as a framework to construct inclusive interfaces. However, as a design engineer, basically, is somebody who works instantly with designers, hopefully, as a result of that is what I feel the position must be.

Sara: We must be working instantly with designers, serving to them make choices and informing design choices with our accessibility and code data, principally, as a result of they complement one another. We write HDML. We write CSS. We write presentational JavaScript, largely.

Sara: And with a powerful give attention to accessibility, hopefully, as a result of that must be a part of each design engineer’s job. After which, after all, the technique that you simply select and the frameworks that you simply use, and I’m not speaking about CSS frameworks or JavaScript frameworks right here, however like I mentioned, this… let me simply name it the technique.

Sara: Methods that you simply use and what precisely you give attention to, and the way you do your job as a design engineer most likely differs between folks as a result of like I mentioned, I’m a progressive enhancement advocate, others are perhaps not. So, we’d differ in these small particulars.

Sara: However a design engineer is somebody who works with designers, helps inform design choices and makes certain that designs are carried out in a method that hopefully works for as many customers as attainable.

Vitaly: Proper. So then, as a design engineer, at this level, how would you then really work? So, what would your course of be like? So, when you consider implementing a specific design, do you break it down into parts? Do you consider navigation landmarks first?

Vitaly: How do you really begin constructing issues? What’s your perhaps mindset in that framework of getting accessible outcomes? Perhaps you can describe it just a little bit.

Sara: Okay. So, once you say that you simply divide the… you not divide, principally regarded on the design after which begin considering in parts, that very a lot relies on the method that you simply work with the designer. So, if I’m working with somebody who has handed over a design, like a whole web page, the method is totally different from once I’m working with the designer, like I did with Yan Persy.

Sara: I’ve talked about him a number of instances on Smashing Hour, by the best way, as a result of working with him was one among my favourite methods of working with the designers as a result of he didn’t have like a full completed design for me to implement. We labored in tandem. We labored collectively. And he modified a number of the issues within the design.

Sara: So, for instance, he wasn’t utilizing a responsive sort scale like we do in front-end growth now utilizing CSS variables and viewport items, et cetera. So, we had this dialogue, after which he shifted the best way the design course of went. It was totally different.

Sara: So, we each began constructing the location when it comes to parts, after which assembling these parts into what we known as slices again then, after which assembling the slices into your entire web site. So, how I begin from whether or not it’s parts or not, relies on the method that I work with the designer.

Sara: However then, if I get just a little bit extra technical, like if I’ve a element that I need to construct, how do I am going about doing that in layers, I might say? Once more, progressive enhancement, the very first thing that I take into consideration is how does this work? How does this seem like?

Sara: How does somebody understand this if JavaScript is disabled? And what occurs if there isn’t a fashion? So, I simply begin with the naked minimal, HTML, as a result of HTML defines the semantics. The semantics give which means to the content material that I’m creating.

Sara: So, which HTML components do I would like to inform the consumer what this factor is to offer semantics? If HDML already incorporates a component that represents this element or this ingredient that I’m constructing, I take advantage of that. If not, then I begin to fascinated with ARIA attributes; which ARIA attributes do I would like?

Sara: How a lot ARIA do I would like? ARIA is… it’s not an enhancement; it’s needed for lots of dynamic and interactive parts. However I all the time strive to consider it as a final resort, not a primary one, so all the time semantic HTML first. How a lot can I get carried out with simply semantic HTML?

Sara: How accessible is it? Do I would like one thing? Do I have to polyfill some semantics utilizing ARIA? If I do, then I begin fascinated with that. After which making use of CSS, and the way does CSS have an effect on these semantics? Does it? Does it not?

Sara: Do I’ve to do one thing additional to guarantee that one thing stays accessible after I fashion it? Like, for instance, in the event you stripped away the default listing types on listing components, which is one thing you most likely… and many individuals most likely already know by now, in the event you set listing fashion to none, for instance, on an unordered listing, then Safari or WebKit, WebKit, basically, goes to take away the semantics of the listing.

Sara: And VoiceOver isn’t going to announce that anymore. So, what do I do in that case? Do I would like these semantics? Do I am going into the HTML and add them once more utilizing a job attribute or not? So, I take into consideration these things in layers. Begin with HTML semantics. Do I would like ARIA? How do I fashion this? After which, interactivity is all the time the final layer that I take into consideration and that I construct into parts.

Vitaly: Proper. Is smart. It’s attention-grabbing what you’re saying that it’s a course of. It doesn’t look like a easy course of, particularly when you consider like actually implementing fairly a posh interface, which can even have every kind of various views and perhaps single web page software within the again and so forth.

Vitaly: And one factor that I’m combating once I’m doing work with shoppers and making an attempt to make issues extra inclusive and interfaces perhaps a bit extra usable is that fairly often internet accessibility continues to be seen as this little factor. Like, “Okay, that’s simply semantics.” “Okay, so we’re going to make use of buttons for buttons.”

Vitaly: However it’s really a lot, a lot, way more than that. And I’m questioning, what do you suppose… like, the place will we really stand when it comes to accessibility at present? It’s very arduous for me, personally, for instance, to think about a brand new challenge being launched with out even contemplating accessibility.

Vitaly: I feel which may have been attainable perhaps a decade in the past. I feel at present, it might be very troublesome to think about a model new challenge that’s going to be marketed in all places on posters that isn’t accessible in any respect, some elements accessible, however perhaps not all the pieces.

Vitaly: So, what do you suppose, has accessibility not develop into simply the pure a part of each design implementation course of, or are we method, method, method, distant from this but?

Sara: I feel we’re not too far, however we’re nonetheless far. So, there’s undoubtedly much more consciousness on accessibility. I hope so, at the very least, as a result of I solely observe like lower than 250 folks on Twitter. And the general public in my circle are individuals who both work with accessibility or care about accessibility.

Sara: So, if I have been to evaluate the present state of affairs based mostly on my little circle, I might say that accessibility is doing nice, and folks care about it rather a lot. And so they work to make their content material extra accessible. However I can’t converse for everybody as a result of I do know that this isn’t the case for everybody.

Sara: I do know that there are nonetheless many builders who simply merely don’t care. As a result of with accessibility, you both care otherwise you don’t care; that is it. In case you don’t care, then you’re principally not doing any accessibility work in any respect.

Sara: After which, however, people who do care about accessibility and attempt to implement it of their work, a few of them are discovering issue as a result of they get misplaced in all the assets on the market, and the place ought to they go? The place do they begin? For this reason I’m creating the accessibility course now, to hopefully assist with that just a little bit.

Sara: So, we’re undoubtedly doing significantly better than we did like 5 years in the past, let me say, 5. However I don’t suppose we’re simply precisely there but. No. I feel it’s going to take extra time.

Vitaly: Yeah. However then, I additionally hear builders telling me on a regular basis, “Effectively, maintain on. However the platform is evolving so fantastically at this level. Now we have not solely the fantastic CSS characteristic coming alongside, but additionally we now have these unbelievable issues that frequent UI parts, like enter sort date for a date picker, the dialogue for fashions, particulars, and abstract for accordions.”

Vitaly: And fairly often, what I discover is that they only use these issues, they usually suppose that, “Okay, effectively, since these are native parts accessible on the platform, they absolutely are accessible.” After which, come eye alongside, after which there’s hassle. I’m questioning, at this level, what would you say on this place?

Vitaly: Like, these issues, would you advocate to make use of them ever? Or the place are there? Ideally, it might be a really good concept and state of affairs the place we ended up with all these native parts simply accessible out of the field, stunning, accessible, inclusive, and all of that. Are we there but?

Sara: No.

Vitaly: Are we once more, distant from it?

Sara: No. No. We’re undoubtedly not there but. I do know that the dialogue ingredient, for instance, has been fairly… I don’t need to say utterly inaccessible, nevertheless it has had plenty of accessibility points for years now. And I feel it solely began getting higher this 12 months. After which, enter sort equal date, I not often ever used it as a result of, to be sincere, I don’t suppose that it affords the most effective usability anyway, even whether it is accessible, which I feel it’s… I don’t know.

Sara: I haven’t used it in a really very long time, so I can’t even inform if it’s absolutely accessible or not. However I feel the final I heard was that it wasn’t and that it was a usability nightmare. So, even when one thing is technically accessible, that doesn’t imply that it’s going to be usable. Positively plenty of exams.

Sara: And I like this quote by my buddy, Scott O’Hara, that he mentioned in one among his talks. He mentioned, “Expertise and consumer expectations change quickly. And we should always all the time take a look at to make sure not solely rising patterns work accurately however strive unfaithful patterns proceed to work as we anticipate.”

Sara: That is me, now, persevering with. Typically even one thing that you recognize works could cease working as you anticipate. Browsers could create new heuristics, for instance. And the best way they… not interpret, the best way they current one thing as a result of the consumer could change on any day.

Sara: Additionally, a be aware about particulars and abstract, which is one thing that I had a dialogue about at present, particulars and abstract are usually not the only option for an accordion. They can be utilized for an accordion, however even they… like, once you select any element, the very first thing it’s important to take into consideration is the semantics.

Sara: What are the semantics which can be going to be conveyed? As a result of the semantics decide the non-visual interface for a non-sighted consumer, for a display reader, for a consumer, for instance, assuming they’re a non-sighted display reader, the consumer.

Sara: Particulars in abstract, they’ve their very own quirks in the case of semantics. So, the abstract has a button roll, which signifies that it’s conveyed as a button to assistive applied sciences. And buttons eat up the semantics of the weather within them.

Sara: So, when you’ve got a heading, which is what you’ll usually have in an accordion, and in the event you put that within a abstract, then the heading isn’t going to be conveyed as a heading anymore. In fact, there are exceptions as a result of generally browsers attempt to quote, repair our misuse of ARIA or our misuse of semantics.

Sara: And so they attempt to assist stream customers by conveying issues that we could have damaged as builders, nevertheless it doesn’t imply that every one browsers try this. So, undoubtedly, all the time, it’s essential to take a look at. And if particulars in abstract, for instance, in the event you use that, and if the headings are usually not uncovered as headings, after which the consumer can not use these headings to navigate, for instance, anymore.

Sara: So, even when one thing is technically accessible, sure, they will entry the contents of abstract. Sure, they will entry the contents of the main points. However it’s important to take into consideration what semantics you’re conveying and the way they have an effect on the usability of the interface and generally perhaps navigation, so there are plenty of issues to bear in mind.

Vitaly: Yeah. So, it’s attention-grabbing that you simply introduced up the testing for accessibility at this level. As a result of once we run our workshops, and from time to time, we… in my workshop, I have a tendency to simply clarify to folks how safety works. And I all the time ask the identical query. And for the final, I don’t know, two, three, 4 years, perhaps now, I’ve been asking the identical query.

Vitaly: So, who’s listening to this VoiceOver for the very first time? And these are often designers or builders coming to these workshops. And fairly often, you’ll see a overwhelming majority of individuals listening to issues for the very first time. So, perhaps you can additionally share a bit of sunshine in how do you really take a look at accessibility?

Vitaly: Do you all the time have display reader or VoiceOver on or perhaps another instruments? May you additionally, perhaps, run us by means of the method of testing your parts for accessibility?

Sara: Okay. So, there are fairly just a few issues that I like to make use of, and I’m going to say them in no explicit order; undoubtedly browser DevTools to examine the accessibility tree as a result of you may get plenty of perception on the accessibility of the weather and parts that you simply’re constructing from the accessibility tree.

Sara: As a result of principally, the accessibility tree is the accessibility… incorporates the accessibility data that the browser has created for assistive applied sciences to announce. So, once you have a look at the accessibility tree, you may get an concept of how a component goes to be introduced by a display reader that accesses and will get that data from the browser by way of the accessibility API, after all.

Sara: So, the dev instruments for accessibility tree. There are plenty of extensions that I like to make use of, for instance, to see the doc define on a web page or to see the landmarks on a web page. If I’m doing an accessibility audit, I might undoubtedly use an automatic testing device akin to asking DevTools, for instance.

Sara: So far as display reader go, undoubtedly like… you can’t simply take a look at on one display reader. And I’ve been responsible of this. I imply, I’m not like preaching one thing that I don’t apply now, however I do know that I didn’t apply this earlier than. I don’t have entry to a home windows machine.

Sara: So, I not too long ago… not not too long ago, like just a few months in the past, I began utilizing Nvidia A on my home windows digital machine. And I additionally not too long ago bought a license for JAWS as a result of JAWS isn’t free, however Nvidia is free. So, I used VoiceOver with Safari on iOS. Typically I take a look at on different browsers, as effectively, simply because generally, perhaps a VoiceOver utilizing could also be utilizing one other browser.

Sara: However typically talking, VoiceOver and Safari are the most effective mixture, and customers sometimes know that. And on home windows, I take a look at Nvidia A with Firefox, Nvidia A with Chrome. And the narrator can be constructed into Home windows, so I take advantage of that for testing as effectively.

Sara: And JAWS is the most well-liked display meter in accordance with the WebAIM display reader, consumer survey. So sure, it’s important to take a look at utilizing a number of display readers and browser combos as a result of similar to you can’t take a look at your web site solely on one browser.

Sara: Like say, you’ve constructed a web site, and also you need to take a look at, if all the pieces is working as anticipated, all of your CSS and stuff, you don’t simply take a look at it on one browser, proper? You take a look at it on most fashionable browsers and presumably even on IE in the event you nonetheless must assist that. Identical to you take a look at on a number of browsers, you even have to check on a number of display readers, in the event you can. So, that is what I do, basically.

Vitaly: Yeah. So, you additionally talked about in one of many Smashing Hours that device.

Sara: Assistive labs.

Vitaly: Assistive labs, which is like browsers tech for display readers, which is actually need to see, as effectively. And I feel, for me, it’s actually this actually attention-grabbing world of different browsers, I might say as a result of we are likely to focus rather a lot on what are a number of the fancy new options we get in Firefox and in Chrome, and in Safari.

Vitaly: Simply basically, would you say that the event of display readers is… the frequency of updates, is it related or is it one thing like perhaps there’s a new model arising each six months or solely simply every year, as a result of we now have this comparability, proper, stuff taking place throughout browsers.

Vitaly: So, as a lot because it used to the place you’re utilizing Firefox or Chrome, or Safari, or Edge, at this level, do you see that it’s additionally shifting on the earth of display readers in direction of this comparability mode… not mode, compatibility throughout totally different screens readers? Or is it… perhaps you can share only a bit of sunshine about that world and that universe of display readers?

Sara: To be sincere, I’ve by no means dug that deep into it. So, I haven’t been monitoring, for instance, display reader updates, like how typically Nvidia is up to date and the way typically JAWS is up to date. However I do know that even when JAWS or Nvidia is up to date, not all display reader customers are going to replace their software program as a result of they’re conscious of… plenty of issues could break for them.

Sara: And in the event that they have already got an setting that works, no one needs to interrupt one thing that works for them. So, I do know that many display reader customers don’t replace their software program as typically as we might imagine that they do.

Vitaly: Proper. Effectively, after all, speaking about browsers, at this level, I do must carry out the fantastic notion of fantastic CSS. And clearly, I do have some questions on CSS, as effectively. And one factor that I undoubtedly must ask, and I do know what your reply goes to be, however I nonetheless like listening to it each single time.

Vitaly: So, I’m going to carry this up. I’ve a sense… effectively, I do know that you’ve or perhaps don’t have sturdy emotions about CSS methodologies or frameworks, or JavaScript frameworks for that matter. Do you have got any favorites, or do you not? Do you all the time simply work with what the challenge requires?

Vitaly: How do you choose your battles? Would you ever use any framework or CSS framework library Tailwind, CSS and JS; I don’t know. I imply, a brief, no would suffice.

Sara: I can’t simply say no, as a result of it relies on the challenge. If I’m working with a workforce and everybody on the workforce is utilizing Tailwind, then I’ll undoubtedly be utilizing Tailwind with them. However I’ve by no means had to do this but. And I’ve been tremendous fortunate with… really, I might even say privileged with the tasks that I’ve labored on to this point.

Sara: So, no, I don’t use any CSS frameworks. I want to not use them as a result of they arrive with plenty of… and I’m not, not speaking particularly about any explicit framework right here. Most of them include plenty of overhead. And for me personally, I really feel that making an attempt to take away all of the pointless CSS or be taught one thing or be taught it from… it’s simply a lot sooner for me to construct one thing from scratch, literary.

Sara: Like, I’ve some CSS that I’ve created over time that I moved from one challenge to the opposite, and naturally, I continuously replace that, and I used that. It’s like a mini, tiny framework that I used. Like, there are some utility lessons that I utilized in there.

Sara: Some settings, I known as them these settings recordsdata for establishing the sort scale and the tokens for theming and all that stuff. However I might undoubtedly moderately not use a CSS framework. I don’t have tremendous sturdy emotions about them. I personally used a mix of BEM ITCSS and utility lessons in my work.

Sara: And I solely add as a lot CSS as I would like. So, if I would like a utility class, I add it to the utility class listing that I’ve. If not, I don’t simply add it simply in case I’m going to want it. I’m tremendous minimal in the case of writing CSS.

Vitaly: Proper. Sorry, are you able to hear the voices of the fantastic folks on the distant corners of the web asking for that little framework that you’ve created to be open supply, perhaps?

Sara: I’ll. I do plan on doing that. Sure. The course has taken up most of my time. My web site has been uncared for. My weblog has actually been deserted for months, and I’m going to do… like, even the web site that I’m utilizing, I constructed the course web site from scratch utilizing 11T.

Sara: I’m even contemplating sharing that as a framework, if anybody needs to make use of it sometime. So, plenty of stuff that I’ve on my to-do listing, however I’m suspending all of it till after the course is launched as a result of I have to get this carried out.

Vitaly: Proper. So, perhaps let’s simply bounce into the course. I feel that we’ve been talking about it a few instances already, however I couldn’t be extra excited to truly get this course lastly launched. Effectively, do you suppose you can really share a little bit of perception about what’s going to be about, when it’s going to be launched, and the place fantastic folks listening to this present can subscribe to updates to truly get it when it does get launched?

Sara: Okay. Updates, subscription, e-mail, e-newsletter on present, that’s the web site for the place the course goes to be hosted at present. It simply consists of an summary of what the course is about and a hyperlink to subscribe to the e-newsletter.

Sara: However hopefully subsequent month, when the backend is lastly prepared… as a result of we’re doing all the pieces from scratch, and I employed a buddy of mine to construct the backend and all of the cost stuff into it. As soon as that’s completed, the web site goes to be up to date with extra particulars in regards to the course. So, I’m going to introduce the course in a brief video.

Sara: There’s going to be a extra detailed desk of contents. I haven’t shared a desk of contents but as a result of it retains altering rather a lot. Like, even yesterday I added a brand new part or a brand new chapter in between two different chapters. So, if I had shared the desk of contents earlier than, it wouldn’t have been tremendous correct.

Sara: So hopefully, in a month… I feel throughout the subsequent Smashing Hour, I’m going to be making an vital replace on the course.

Vitaly: Oh, that’s cool. That’s good. That’s good. Can I ask you simply on that time? I discover it so troublesome to document movies. I all the time see like, “Oh, no, no, no. I shouldn’t have mentioned that.” I ought to transient rewind again, after which I ought to re-edit after which I ought to change.

Vitaly: After which, I preserve going on a regular basis, and it takes me, I don’t know, hours to simply document 10 or quarter-hour of stuff. Is it the identical for you? Or do you simply go?

Sara: I’m already frightened about this as a result of I haven’t recorded something closing but. I’ve solely carried out just a few, so like some testing and modifying stuff. I’m beginning with a course in reverse, really. I’m not recording first. I’m going to offer extra particulars in regards to the course of and all the pieces later, as soon as it’s completed.

Sara: However I’ve determined to do issues otherwise in order that when it’s time to do the recordings and the editings, I hope will hopefully have eased issues for myself, in order that they don’t take as a lot time. And one thing that I have to preserve reminding myself of is as a result of I’m a perfectionist, and that generally is a foul factor.

Sara: I’m simply going to imagine that I’m on stage in a convention and similar to, I can’t edit each single phrase I say on stage. I’m going to attempt to simply ignore some issues within the movies. That’s going to be tremendous troublesome, particularly as a result of I do know that I can edit them, nevertheless it’s undoubtedly going to take some self-discipline to do this.

Vitaly: Yeah. So, it’s inconceivable for me. I all the time say like, “Oh, no, no, no, after all, I can return,” and absolutely I can come again. So, ultimately, it simply takes hours. However I feel that all of us can not watch for the video course to be lastly launched and get our arms on the movies.

Vitaly: That is very, very thrilling. Perhaps speaking about pleasure, I do know that there are such a lot of fantastic new options coming to the net. I don’t know when it’s coming. Is it like Chrome 103 one thing, the place we must be anticipating the :has() pseudo-class coming in, container queries coming in? It’s like Christmas is coming early.

Sara: The 12 months of CSS.

Vitaly: Yeah, the 12 months of CSS. So, perhaps you can simply share a bit of sunshine about what are you enthusiastic about at this level? What’s the factor that retains you awake at evening the place you suppose, “Oh, if it solely was accessible at present, I might use it throughout in my tasks.” What would that be? Or what are you most enthusiastic about nowadays in CSS?

Sara: Effectively, CSS doesn’t preserve me up at evening, however I do stay up for issues like undoubtedly subgrid. I do know that I used to be one of many individuals who began requesting container queries years in the past, after which we lastly bought them. However then, at this level, we have been already doing plenty of intrinsic responsive design already and utilizing flexbox and CSS grid to create responsive parts that don’t require container queries anymore.

Sara: Though, I imply, they’re nonetheless vital, and I’ll undoubtedly nonetheless be utilizing them. However most likely what I’m personally extra enthusiastic about is cascade layers and subgrid as a result of virtually each single challenge that I’ve used, particularly since I labored on the Prismic Slices Challenge in 2019, that challenge modified the best way I began constructing web sites, at the very least for me.

Sara: It influenced the work that we did on the ?? web site with Yan. And it additionally influences now, my very own work on my web site, for instance. As an alternative of considering of both pages or small parts, there’s this center floor, which is slices.

Sara: And structure inside slices all the time… like I’ve all the time needed the power to inherit the grit on the mum or dad container of the mum or dad container into the kid. And so, subgrid goes to be one of many issues that I’ll most likely want much more than container queries in my work.

Sara: Cascade layers, I wouldn’t say that I would like it, however the best way it permits me to prepare my CSS, the identical method the CSS is organized within my head, so to talk, that is likely one of the the explanation why I’m enthusiastic about it as effectively.

Vitaly: Okay. After which, perhaps just some closing inquiries to lastly wrap up, simply because I’m very, very curious, so I’m certain you have got a few books mendacity round at this level; how do you set up your books? Are they organized by subject? Are they organized by coloration? I met some folks doing that. How do you set up them?

Sara: By coloration, however not just like the rainbow fashion coloration that different folks do.

Vitaly: Okay. What number of pencils or pens do you have got in your desk more often than not?

Sara: In all probability two, like one or two.

Vitaly: And what number of screens?

Sara: You imply for work?

Vitaly: Sure.

Sara: Proper now, simply two, the laptop computer and an exterior show, 32-inch.

Vitaly: Okay. As a result of for me, shifting to a secondary show was actually a deal-breaker, so it’s simply unbelievable. After which lastly, one factor that I do need to ask, and it’s completely unrelated, is, do you occur to have a printer?

Sara: No, I haven’t had one in additional than 20 years, I feel.

Vitaly: Yeah. Now, I really feel simply lonely as a result of each time I carry this up, as a result of I simply bought a printer, like what, two months in the past. And I’m very pleased with this as a result of that is like me having a printer like the primary time in 20 years, looks like I’m the one one who’s shopping for printers at this level. That makes me very, very unhappy.

Sara: I imply, you’ve lived in Germany, proper, and you continue to do plenty of printed paperwork there, so that you want it.

Vitaly: Sure, certainly. You’re completely proper. Effectively, okay, now we all know that. All proper. So, we’ve been studying just a little bit about what it means to design and create extra accessible interfaces at present; what have you ever been studying about currently, Sara? Perhaps one attention-grabbing perception or one uncommon factor that you simply’ve realized not too long ago, which actually modified your views, perhaps it’s simply one thing that anyone mentioned to you, which has influenced your work or simply the best way you’re fascinated with design or about growth, something in that division?

Sara: Nothing that massive, however plenty of small element.

Vitaly: Like what?

Sara: There’s tremendous technical factor.

Vitaly: Okay. So, in the case of implementation of accessible parts, and issues like that.

Sara: Yeah. There are plenty of issues that I realized from digging actually deep into specs. And I like that as a result of my go-to useful resource to find out about virtually something beginning with CSS and different issues, is to go to the specs first. And there’s a lot I’ve realized from that not too long ago.

Vitaly: All proper. Wonderful. Effectively, so, in the event you, expensive listener, wish to hear extra from Sara, you may observe her on Twitter, which is @SaraSoueidan. And in addition, discover all her work on her web site at

Vitaly: And in addition, don’t neglect to subscribe to, which as we’ve heard at present might be launched quickly. So, that is one thing I’m very, very a lot trying ahead to.

Sara: In the summertime, hopefully. That’s what I’m aiming for.

Vitaly: Effectively, that’s incredible information by some means. Effectively, thanks a lot for becoming a member of us at present, Sara. Do we now have any elements in phrases?

Sara: Thanks for having me. Right now is International Accessibility Consciousness Day. So, if there’s something or one factor that you are able to do at present, I might say go both be taught one thing new about accessibility. Or, if you have already got the data, repair one thing by yourself web site or on anyone else’s web site, like open a PR, or repair a problem that exists someplace on the market. Unfold the phrase on accessibility, and subscribe to my e-newsletter.


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