London in November

My Timehop this morning has reminded me of last November when I was in London on a UX course for a few days. London in November is beautiful, if a little cold and my course was in a building a stones throw from the Tower of London, where they had the stunning poppy display. I never shared the photos I took on my trip, but I think today is a timely day to post them up here.

Poppies at the tower of london

Poppies at the tower of london

The area around the Tower of London was packed with people who had come to see the exhibition. Fighting my way through the crowds to get back to the tube on an evening, I always stopped to look at the poppies. It was on a morning though that they were at their best. No crowds, and the early morning soft sunshine combined to make them a beautiful and peaceful sight.

Poppies at the tower of london in november

Poppies at the tower of london

Poppies at the Tower of London  seen from a third floor window

The poppies have been split up now, but if you are anywhere near Wakefield you can see a few of them in the Wave exhibition at Yorkshire Sculpture park until early next year.

The UX course took place in a building in St Katharine Docks. I’d never heard of this place before, but it was full of little coffee shops, old buildings, sail boats and interesting sights.

St Katherine Docks Shops

St Katherine Docks Pub

When I was there they had a wooden hippo as part of an art installation and the Queen’s barge was on display. It got busy around lunch time with tourists and office workers looking for lunch, but later or earlier in the day it’s an interesting place to visit if you’re in the area.

St Katherine Docks Queens Barge

St Katherine Dock HippoSt Katherine Docks Boats

Finally, no trip to London is complete without a cocktail, I got mine in the charming Drink, Shop and Do café near Kings Cross train station. A word of warning though, if you want to go on one of their workshops book in advance! My friend Jenni and I had planned to take part in one but it was more than full when we got there, with a queue of people waiting for a place!

Pink sponge Cake and a cocktail jar at Drink Shop and DO

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Tuesday Tunes – The Ettes

It Ain’t You by The Ettes. I found this one through Orphan Black, a series I’ve been binge watching on Netflix over the past couple of weeks. I say binge watching, but for me that’s about 2 episodes a week because I find it hard to sit still long enough to watch anything on TV.

Anyway, I like Sarah, the main character in Orphan Black, and her style and music she listens to. it’s all a bit punk rock, but in a modern and quite feminine way. This is one of my favourites – enjoy!

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A day out at the Sculpture Park

We spent a lovely, sunny day at West Yorkshire Sculpture Park last week. We admired the Henry Moore Exhibition, climbed a couple of trees, and walked for miles in the sunshine.

Yorkshire Sculpture Park 1
Yorkshire Sculpture Park 10
Yorkshire Sculpture Park 11
Yorkshire Sculpture Park 2
Yorkshire Sculpture Park 3
Yorkshire Sculpture Park 4
Yorkshire Sculpture Park 5

It was my birthday that day, so in the evening we went to my favourite restaurant for dinner – the Cow Shed in Wakefield.

Cowshed Wakefield Steak
Cowshed wakefield venison

“Make a naughty face Helen!” A pre-dinner chai tea, in my Little Miss Naughty mug – a gift from my boyfriend. He thinks it suits me, I’m not so sure I agree.

Little Miss Naughty Mug

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What is website accessibility and why is it important?

what is website accessibility

What is website accessibility?

Website accessibility is about how easy it is for disabled users to access the information or services that your website offers. Having a website that is accessible means that everyone can access the content on your website and it is easy to understand your content. It covers all disabilities that can affect access to your website, but it can also benefit other users including older people and those with ‘temporary disabilities’.

The accessibility of your website needs to be thought about while your website is being designed and developed, and while you are adding or updating content – text, images, videos, and documents that can be downloaded from your website. For example, videos with important information in the sound should have subtitles, closed captions, or a text transcript alternative.

Your web designer or developer should create an accessible website as standard and should not be charging extra for it. Ask them about it before any agreement is reached. Once your website is up and running it will be up to the people that add content to it to make sure that it is all accessible.

Including everyone

Having an inaccessible website means that you are shutting out part of your target audience for no reason. Around 11 million people in the UK have a limiting long term illness, impairment or disability – that’s about 16% of working age adults, and 5% of adults over State Pension age. Why make it difficult for them to get to your products or services?

Anyone can have accessibility issues, not just disabled people – if you fall and injure your wrist, if you need glasses, if you get an ear infection and can’t hear properly. All of these could cause problems when you are trying to use websites – unless the websites have been built to be accessible.

Teenage girl using software to read out a website

Legal requirements

UK law, in the Equality Act 2010, states that no user should be exluded on the basis of disability. A website that is inaccessible to people with disabilites is considered a breach of the Equality Act 2010 and a court case could be brought against the website owners.

See the – Accessibility, how to make services that everyone can use webpage for guidance from the government for how to ensure that your website complies with legal guidelines.

As a starting point, the government recommends that your website should meet the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) created by theWorld Wide Web Consortium (W3C) You should aim for your website and the content on it to meet Level AA of the guidelines.

Web Accessibility Myths

Have you heard that an accessible website is also a boring website? Or that it is too expensive or time consuming to create?

Well that isn’t the case! An accessible website does not have to be ugly or boring. You can still have a beautiful, media-rich website that is interactive and engaging, and accessible. If you build in accessibility right from the start it does not add a lot to the cost or the time to develop. And as we have already seen, you could be fined for having an inaccessible website – a lot more than the cost of getting it right from the start.

The benefits

Making websites accessible means following web standards. This in turn will make your website easier for everyone to use, more future proof, more robust, and more scalable. It will mean it works better across the wide range of tablets and phones in use today, and more likely to work on devices released in the future.

If your visitors, disabled or not, see that your website is easy to use they are more likely to return, and hopefully spread the word about you to friends and family! For you this can lead to more sales, an improved reputation, and a bigger audience.

The benefits of having an accessible website far outweigh the cost and extra effort that go into it.

Further reading

Introduction to Web Accessibility from the W3C Disability facts and figures

BBC – What is accessibility?

10 Easy Accessibility Tips Anyone Can Use

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Tuesday Tunes – The Gaslight Anthem

Rock band the Gaslight Anthem

Two videos from The Gaslight Anthem for my Tuesday Tunes this week, because I couldn’t decide between them! I’ve been listening to their album a lot over the last weekend and they’re really sticking in my head. These are Get Hurt and Rollin’ and Tumblin’, from their latest album Get Hurt.

More Gaslight Anthem

The Gaslight Anthem on YouTube

The Gaslight Anthem website

The Gaslight Anthem on Facebook

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