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30 steps to a more accessible website

Step 2: Introducing Michael

Michael is in many ways a typical student: 18 years old, lives with four housemates in a house that they rent privately from a landlord who wants to spend as little as possible on the place. It's okay in most respects, though; the one big pain for Michael and his friends is that the house is a little bit outside of the town centre, which gives them two problems (1) travelling to the university is something of a pain; (2) they're just outside of the exchange area where ADSL is available and BT say that they have "no immediate plans" to cable up the exchange that serves them.

Michael sees the world differently than you do. This is not a business cliche or a philosophical statement; he really sees the world differently than you do. He has protanopia, an inability to distinguish red from green. (Reds, in particular, appear very dark, almost black.) All of his clothes are discreetly labeled with letters, R for red, DG for dark green, and so forth. His girlfriend has compiled a compatibility matrix that specifies which clothes he is allowed to wear together. He follows these instructions to the letter, so to speak, although he doesn't really see why they matter.

Like his house-mates, Michael curses his 56-but-really-28-today-K dialup access, and some days he uses the text-only web browser Lynx, which renders complex multi-column layouts as well as a graphical browser, but only in text -- no images or fonts. Other days he uses Opera, because it allows him to load pages in the background, and to easily turn images on and off. Mostly he leaves them off, to conserve bandwidth. Today is a Lynx day.

« Step 1: Introducing Jackie | Contents | Step 3: Introducing Bill »

This guide is adapted from Dive Into Accessibility by Mark Pilgrim and is shared with the GNU Free Documentation License v1.1