SITE Scotland is is a charity for blind and visually impaired people providing training, advice and support.
A new accessible website was required to meet the needs of their users; a website that would add a high level of interactivity and allow SITE members to add their own multimedia content.
Detailed discussions took place at the start of the project (and throughout) to ensure that the new website would address each of these weaknesses and still be attractive and accessible. A major goal of the new website was also to create a facility that would allow members to provide their own content to the site in the form of video, text, images and audio.
It was decided to us WordPress as the basis for managing the site. WordPress is easy to use (once you get beyond the initial learning curve) and it has a huge number of plugins – to provide the required functionality. Because of its ubiquity, on-going technical support will not be a problem; a huge number of developers support all aspects of WordPress.
Crucially, WordPress is also supported by external editors such as MarsEdit (a desktop blog editor for the Mac) which made it easier for the project manager to add and edit content on the site using a screen reader.
In terms of visual design, it was decided that high contrast bright colours should be used, as this fitted in both with the need to retain the existing branding and the need to provide good contrast for people with visual impairments. Different sections of the site were identified by different colours and both icons and text was used for the main navigation. As part of the design process the design of the SITE Scotland logo was refreshed to fit in with the more modern look of the site.
It was not a simple development process given the complex needs, however, all of the goals for the site have been met and feedback from both SITE Scotland staff and website users has been very positive.
I met Jim a couple of years ago when he was presenting to a conference on accessible websites. I contacted him to bid for our new website and he has engaged with me and our team to provide what is a fantastic website which is the central point of our promotion and communication strategy.
Jim worked very closely with us at every stage, listened to what our needs and those of the sight loss community and provided us with exactly what we wanted and more.
None of our team had any experience in web design but Jim took us all through the processes involved in a manner which was easily to understand. and which we have learned so much.
The feedback we have received from visitors to our new website has been all positive and I would have no hesitation in recommending Jim to other organisations. John Turley, Development Manager, SITE Scotland.
I provided feedback on the WCAG 2 (as representative of Guild of Accessible Website Designers) have two decades of experience and worked with hundreds of organisations.
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