Design Challenge #1: Designing for Online Accessibility | Coursera Community
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Design Challenge #1: Designing for Online Accessibility

  • 25 August 2019
  • 2 replies

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If you're looking for some additional practice scenarios to stretch your skills and build portfolio pieces, design challenges can be really useful. Please feel free to create and share your own design challenges and solutions with the forum.

As a companion to my previous post, "What Tools Do You Use to Test the Accessibility of Your Prototypes?" this design challenge examines concepts of accessibility in online UI/UX.

As students of IxD, we know that usability and accessibility go hand-in-hand to make excellent designs. But how do we begin the process of making great online designs that are accessible to everyone? One first step can be to learn about users' needs through their own experiences in a Think Aloud session. Here’s a great post by @Sonal Patel from the Study Tips forum on Navigating the discussion forum by a blind learner. This video provides an excellent opportunity to see how an assistive device interacts with the Coursera user interface that you're already familiar with and the user experience it produces.

Design Challenge
From an IxD design perspective, what improvements, if any, to the Coursera course forum UI (or another forum you use) would you recommend for improving accessibility and user experience, based on Sonal’s post(s) and video? Respond by posting any of the following:

· a usability summary and/or critique
· a redesigned wireframe or sketch that indicates revised tab order or other assistive device interactions
· a video walk-through of the forum indicating opportunities for assistive redesign
· a link to an interactive prototype (via apps like Balsamiq, POP, JustinMind, Axure, etc.)

Good luck and happy designing!

2 replies

Userlevel 4
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Thank you Kai for sharing my posts. Truly, usability and accessibility go hand in hand. Great initiative here.
I will share these with individuals whose videos you have mentioned here. thanks!

Dear Coursera staff,


I’m writing on behalf of a team of graduate students in UMD’s Human-Computer Interaction master’s program. We are highly focused on the task of improving the usability and accessibility for websites and mobile apps, with a particular interest in language learning.


Many companies are starting to focus on improving accessibility for people with visual impairments; perhaps Coursera is one. Would it be of interest to you or your team to interact with our team as we conduct usability testing on your product? We have an existing base of users (both sighted and with low vision) to test both usability and accessibility. In turn, we will be able to offer our insights at no cost in the form of a presentation to enhance the universal usability of your product. If your time allows, we would like to ask you for two things:


OPTIONAL: A 20-minute video call consult at the beginning of our project with the opportunity to insert tasks of interest.)


A 30- to 45-minute conference or video call to receive the findings. (If preferred, we could provide this material as slides without the interaction, but of course your input would be extremely valuable to our learning.)


Our timeline is as follows:


Confirmation of interest: By Thursday, October 24

Kick-off (Optional #1 above): Week of October 28th

Presentation of results (#2 above): First or second week of December


If this is interesting to you, but you are not the right person to consider the request, we’d be appreciative if you would direct us another contact.


I’ve attached our class syllabus and invite you to also visit the Trace Center website: ( where our professor, Dr. Jonathan Lazar, conducts groundbreaking research on accessibility. Team member resumes and portfolios are also available upon request.


Thanks so much for your consideration; we’d appreciate hearing of your interest by next Thursday, October 24th.


Warm regards,


Shayna Foote

UX Student, University of Maryland-College Park