Accessibility and screen readers

Screenshot of the GDS blog, with my post on it.

I've written a blog post! Well, obviously this one, I mean... another blog post. Not this one. This one I've clearly... okay, I'm going to start again.

I've written a blog post for the official GDS blog. Hooray!

It's about accessibility and web development, and you can read the whole post here: What working on GOV.UK navigation taught us about accessibility.

So far its received 58 retweets on Twitter... I don't know, but I'm told that's a lot. It even got tweeted by CSS tricks, which is very exciting.

Writing for GDS

Writing the article was an interesting experience. Normally on custarddoughnuts I use my future self as a proof reader. I'll bash out the outline of a post and leave it to sit on my hard drive for a while before taking a look at it with fresh eyes. At that point I usually completely rewrite it or bin it entirely, which seems to work for the most part.

Writing for GDS was another thing entirely. Every post is subjected to a series of reviews. It was first reviewed by my immediate team, who gave me a lot of useful feedback. I then sent it to the Accessibility team at GDS to get their review, after which it went to a technical writer on the blog team, then another technical writer, then another review from a creative writer, then through to someone on the comms team for final signoff.

The whole process has taken several months and it's been completely fascinating. Having that many people review your work is not only really helpful, but also challenges you to explain why you've written something the way you have, or why this sentence is important in this context, and so on. If you're not used to that kind of scrutiny, I heartily recommend it. I feel like (I hope) a better writer as a result.


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