Accessibility-first design and development with Hyperspaces
When we set out to create Hyperspaces, we started by defining our standards for the app and what it would allow users to build. This list included progressive enhancement, performance, privacy, and security, but accessibility was at the very top.
Accessibility is all-too-often treated as an afterthought or retrofit. Or, perhaps more commonly, it is neglected or resisted altogether. The annual WebAIM Million study shows that 98.1% of the top 1 million websites had detectable accessibility failures on their homepages.
With Hyperspaces, we seek to change this. Accessibility is something that can and should be a natural part of building great user experiences from the start of any project. We believe in a web that works for everyone. We believe you can't have good design and code if it excludes a significant portion of the world's population.
Much like mobile-first design and development, we aim to introduce accessibility-first design and development through Hyperspaces. Every element and pattern you can add to your project will be accessible by default, and Hyperspaces will help you build with accessibility best practices along the way.
Each element in Hyperspaces includes the markup, styles, and functionality, all composed together. This allows us to include things like semantic HTML, accessible visual design, and proper keyboard interaction/focus management patterns to provide elements that are WCAG-compliant and follow WAI-ARIA recommendations.
A large part of learning and achieving accessibility is reading through technical standards, studying many situation-specific requirements, and remembering to incorporate accessibility techniques throughout the design and development process.
Because accessibility is foundational to everything Hyperspace allows you to create, you can focus on crafting your ideal user experience with the confidence that your project will work for as many users as possible.
Although we feel this gives Hyperspaces a competitive advantage when compared to existing design and development tools, our main goal is to encourage the community at large to create a more accessible web. If our competitors evolve their tools in a similar way, then we'll consider it a job well done.
As we continue building Hyperspaces, we'll dive into how we're incorporating accessibility in more detail. For now, just know that it's #1 in our list of defining standards for the type of tool we want to share with you all.