Up to now I’ve been sharing design events and article/videos of interest. Today I’m switching track to writing about some of my daily design issues. At HMH (my design day job!), I’m a Lead Design Architect on the DSS project (Design Studio Standards) which is our gradual development of a design framework for the entire Studio and HMH’s Content Development Group as a whole. Up until recently, each project was designed from scratch with little consistency over typography, responsive design, use of icons, colour scheme, UI components and so on. I was one of a group of designers within Design Studio to raise that we were reinventing the wheel on every project and that we should develop a common design framework for all education content projects to reduce the rework and to develop more consistency in our design. We proposed a project to start the development of this framework and concurrent to other projects, I have been one of the main players in its development. That was a year ago. Fast track 12 months, and we now have a fully responsive layout framework, common colour scheme, common icon set, and common typographic standard. We are now in the development of common UI and interaction components.

So, after that large intro, on to todays issue.. WCAG 2.0 Accessibility colour contrast standards.

Having developed an extensive colour scheme based on the company’s corporate colour spectrum, we’re now realising that the base spectrum we planned for button colour options, is not contrast compliant for accessibility standards. Since we are an educational course provider, accessibility standards need to be adhered to, although there is still some decision making to be done at a higher level as to which accessibility rating we are aiming for.

This raises interesting problems from a design perspective, as the shades needed in order to be compliant are much darker than we would ordinarily design to. More to come!