UI facilitators and barriers

Mick McQuaid


Most technologies …

and interaction models require accessibility design thinking

Usability + Accessibility = user delight


  • Facilitator: Screen reader support
  • Barrier: No screen reader support
designing for screen readers
GUI accessibility

Touch/Tactile Screens

  • Facilitator: Big touch targets
  • Barrier: Small touch targets
accommodations for multitouch

Gesture Input

  • Facilitator: Intuitive interaction model for performing a task (pinch to zoom)
  • Barrier: No alternative input mechanism for people with limited dexterity
accommodating watch gesture differences

Video & Rich Media

  • Facilitator: Rich storytelling medium
  • Barrier: No closed captions

Speech to Text / Speech Commands

  • Facilitator: Ease of text input and hands-free interaction
  • Barrier: Need alternative interaction model for speech and audio I/O
speech to text on a smartphone

Help & Support Considerations

  • Providing accessible instructions and support
  • Training on AT and accessibility features


  • Testimonials from people with disabilities
  • Simulation tools/techniques for design and testing
a typeface for dyslexia
designing for anxiety
designing for autism
designing for dhh
designing for dyslexia
designing for low vision
designing for motor disabilities



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