Dashboard Week: Accessibility

by Lauren Halliwell

Today was day 1 of dashboard week and our brief was to pick an area of accessibility to build a dashboard to give the UK public better (and more accessible) access to climate change data.

I decided to focus on making a dashboard accessible for people with dyscalculia, and hence focused on reducing the amount of numbers on the screen and providing the ability to use a screen reader if that is required.

In order to do this,

  • I removed as many axes as possible and reduced the number of numbers on the remaining axes.
  • I included large BANs to the end on the lines to show their final changes.
  • I included a filter which gave the ability to reduce the amount of numbers further.
  • In order to get the screen reader to read out certain text, I hid the text (size 1, white) in plain sight on the dashboard between each chart.
  • Finally, I chose specific colours which were able to be differentiated easily by people with different forms of colour blindness.

If I was to do this again,

  • I would have included the text which were readable by the screen reader onto the dashboard for anyone to read, as this would make the dashboard interesting to people who prefer to read text than listen to it.
  • The precipitation data did not show much of a change between the 3 at first glance, but when using a running sum, it does show a difference. This part of the dashboard was important, particularly to a UK audience and was a missed opportunity.
  • I would also spend less time researching and trying to think of ideas and more time seeing what I could do with the data and try to find supplementary data as soon as possible. After coming up with multiple ideas, I found that a lot of the ideas were impossible to create/didn't show what I wanted them to show with the provided data. If I had instead initially created the chart as soon as I had thought of the idea, I would have seen automatically that it did not work and could have come up with more ideas.

Tomorrow, I hope to take on the feedback from today and my learnings from today in order to create an even better dashboard.

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Lauren Halliwell

Fri 25 Nov 2022

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Wed 05 Oct 2022