I am a sinner, it is far more fun than being good 😉. So let's see how we can use the 7 deadly sins to our advantage when it comes to accessibility.
Inspired by https://levelup.gitconnected.com/7-capital-sins-of-a-software-developer-7cb66f6abeca, but I thought being on the side of evil would be more fun!
So let's jump in and see how being a sinner can be a good thing (oh and as this is one of my rants (sort of), be aware that any anger etc. is just for fun!)
If you are deeply religious you may find some things offensive in this article and I would suggest you leave now. Additionally there are some dark jokes and sexuality related content, just in case you are sensitive to that. Finally there is a link to a website that uses a lot of profanity at the end of the "Wrath" section, although there is no swearing in the article itself be careful of that link (it has a warning on it!) It is all safe for work, but just a heads up!
Trigger warnings, click to expand
This article is a humorous take on Christianity, evil and the seven deadly sins.
If you are deeply religious you may find some things offensive in this article and I would suggest you leave now.
Additionally there are some dark jokes and sexuality related content, just in case you are sensitive to that.
Finally there is a link to a website that uses a lot of profanity at the end of the "Wrath" section, although there is no swearing in the article itself be careful of that link (it has a warning on it!)
It is all safe for work, but just a heads up!
Ah, pride, we should be humble and practice humility as accessibility experts surely?
Building accessible products and services takes thought and a little bit of extra effort.
So when you have built something that is accessible, boast about it, be proud!
Tell the world how you built something that is better than that built by other "developers" (as how can you call yourself a developer and build things that don't work for everyone?!).
I mean God's own website (the Vatican official website) has 1157 detectable accessibility errors in Axe DevTools - that must be some kind of record!
So as pride is considered the greatest of all the sins, I am happy to say "I am proud that I did not build the Vatican website".
I want a big house and a nice car, I like material possessions.
Building an accessible website (and business) means that more people can access it, and spend money there!
As 1 in 6 people have a disability and 1 in 10 people have a disability that affects the way they interact with your website it is a massive market that is being ignored!
The Click-Away Pound report estimates that UK businesses lose over £17 billion a year to their more accessible competitors (notice I say more accessible, nobody is getting it right it is just some sites have fewer barriers!).
Imagine if just one site was fully accessible, that site could become a power house and grab all of that money!
So be greedy! Build a product that is better than everyone else's and have thousands of people with disabilities flock to your site as they move away from your inaccessible competition!
Watch your bank balance grow and your material wealth increase.
According to the heavenly virtues, we should be charitable not greedy. Well Christian Aid's website has 40 accessibility errors, so I choose greed and 0 accessibility errors every day of the week!
Get angry when you see inaccessible websites.
I recently had a rant about the #WeThe15 website as it is a campaign about including people with disabilities, that had a completely inaccessible website. (It has improved a little after some guidance from a certain sinner who sent an angry email and how to fix things, but it still not great!)
We are meant to be kind apparently.
Well what has kindness brought?
Over 25 years of little progress in the UK towards equality (over 30 years in the USA with the ADA).
97.4% of website have accessibility issues that are detectable automatically...it seems that asking nicely and being forgiving and kind to people's ignorance and the barriers it creates is not the answer.
So let out your inner rage monster and call out these inaccessible websites!
Saying that, if the Disability Rights UK website can't get it right, what hope is there...
However, I can build an evil site with 0 accessibility errors (warning, site contains many many swears so don't visit if you are offended by swearing!) quite easily.
I choose the side of the sinners, as the sinners are winning!
I am envious. Envious of companies who have managed to convince people that they are helping with crap products.
AccessiBe is one of those companies, telling people that their accessible overlay will fix all of their problems (it makes things worse!).
I am envious that I cannot get the reach they have in order to educate people that a website needs to be built with accessibility in mind, that it should be part of your Minimal Viable Product (MVP).
I am envious that they can persuade people that they are helping, when they are actually making things worse.
These overlays are so bad for accessibility that the disabled community created a plugin that blocks AccessiBe and other overlays as they cause so many issues!
I use my envy as a source of power, unlocking the secrets these companies use to get the positive coverage they do not deserve.
Then I can spin their techniques for my evil ways of actually building things that are accessible! 😱
Apparently I am meant to be patient rather than envious, pfff.
I will not be patient any longer, I want to make change happen quickly!
I mean, if I told you I built accessible websites, and had 405 accessibility errors on my home page, would you listen? (that is how many AccessiBe's homepage has!)
Well disability just isn't sexy enough for lust right?
I mean, I am sure many people would give their right arm for a woman like that. (and yes, that was a dark joke, I am evil remember?)
But when it comes to lust and accessibility I am talking about a lust for power.
This obviously links back to the greed and money part in some ways, but power is different.
Imagine how much power you could wield if you had the backing of the 1 billion disabled people around the world.
I want that backing, I lust after the power that brings, the power to shape the direction humanity is taking. The power to persuade politicians and business owners to listen.
I want to use that power to force websites to be accessible or take them offline (imagine how quickly you would fix accessibility issues if that was a possibility...and if you build websites in the UK then you may want to start preparing...I am serious, I have something quite scary lined up!).
I want to use that power to give the legal requirements (that already exists for websites to be accessible) some teeth, to force barriers to be removed in society!
Yes, I am a monster, I lust after power and I lust after influence to make change happen.
So I encourage you to also lust after influence, so that you can change people's thought process on accessibility.
Be a glutton!
Over-consume accessibility articles and everything related to accessibility and disability.
The more you consume on the subject the better your development practices will become.
You will start thinking about people with Vestibular Disorders (e.g. sensitivity to movement), mobility impairments (e.g. accuracy issues with a mouse so they use a keyboard), people who use Eye Gaze technology, people who use dual or single switches to navigate your site, screen readers and people who use braille.
Along the way you will learn about WAI-ARIA, semantic HTML etc.
This will help you build sites that are SEO friendly (as you will structure things correctly), fast (as you will stop using bloated libraries, frameworks etc. that get in the way of accessibility) and more.
So over-indulge, eat up all the accessible content you can!
If you want a big juicy article to sink your teeth into to get you started, how does a 16,500 word listicle sound?:
Article No Longer Available
It is good to be lazy!
Accessibility is centred around using semantic elements and simplifying things to make the User Experience (UX) better (for everyone!).
If you use native and semantic elements your life becomes 100 times easier as a developer, someone else has done all the hard work for you.
Instead of hundreds of lines of code to build an accordion, use
<details>, they have all the functionality baked in and fall back gracefully in the few browsers that don't support them!
For buttons, instead of using a
<div> and having to add
tabindex="0", handlers for keyboard interactions etc., just use a
Thousands of developers have done most of the hard work for you.
So engage the principles of sloth, be lazy, use what others have done before you so you have to work less!
The only time you should be diligent (the opposite of sloth!) is ensuring that you apply accessibility principles consistently, but there are checklists for that sort of thing to make life easy so you don't have to exert too much effort!
Father, forgive me for I have sinned! (and will continue to)
This was a silly article (and I really had to stretch on a couple of the sins!), but with a serious message.
You can make accessibility work for you.
Remember that making things that are accessible benefits you as much as it does everyone else, you can do it for selfish reasons and still do some good!
So go on, be a devil, put accessibility as your top priority and make it part of your MVP today!
One final bit of evil 👿!
let evilWin = true;
Top comments (34)
What’s next? A11y for atheists?
Yes, yes and YES! That is an awesome idea!
Oh here we go, a whole religion-based accessibility series is born 🤣
The Church of Emacs would like to have a word with you.
The Church of the Flying Spaghetti ARIA
Is that a non-prophet organization?
What a pun.
Secular Humanists international website...
(Fewer errors than the Vatican's I think? 😁)
Yeah, it is only 170 errors in Axe, so it needs to get 8 times worse (and 8 times more ugly) to beat the Vatican! 🤣
I find infuriating that the "Disability Rights UK website" is not accessible. Is like a really bad joke. Is like doing a website about dark mode with a
#fffbackground, or a site for translation services only available in english. I mean religious sites not being accessible are kinda disgusting as well, but religious folks not caring is not that surprising.
Literally the Material Design and web.dev website, talks about dark mode but does not have dark mode.
Weird but this didn't show in my notifications.
I can't think of a site about accessibility that doesn't have accessibility errors...the irony is not lost on me!
And yeah, can't expect religion to care about people with disabilities...it isn't profitable! 😉
Excellent article! It's strange that it's so hard to convince people to make something better - that will: make them look good, make them more money for probably the same amount of work/time. This is a fun angle.
Thanks, yeah I try and do my little part to show people that accessibility does add to their bottom line, perhaps I should revisit that though as it has been a while since I framed accessibility "from a selfish perspective".
I hope you enjoyed my silly article, if you do want some more resources on accessibility or some guidance on how to make something accessible just let me know under this comment and I will point you to some useful resources!
Oh and don't worry, I will be participating in the "typewriter wars" that are going on, I just wanted to get this article out!
Finally, if you like the article cover let me know, that is the new branding (minus the adjustment to the logo to have devil horns and a red outer ring of course! 🤣)
Typewriter war? 😀
Fontastic battle. Arial bombardment to annihilate all Western European character sets.
You missed another God's own website: kerala.gov.in/. I come from Kerala! It isn't so great though:
There are only 368 accessibility issues on that site, great if you compare it to the Vatican! 🤣
Got to say 4/100 on Lighthouse is impressive going though!
Quick question how about content creation? Cause I didn't know about the issues faced by people with disabilities till I was looking at how I could create content for them.
Sure, what do you want to know? Are you looking at it purely from a creating content on sites like DEV and best practices or on your own site?
Not sure if you saw this, but this post covers (without labouring the point on accessibility) a lot of good practices:
How to write a VERY HIGH quality post on DEV [13 top tips + a bonus 🤯!]
InHuOfficial ・ Aug 20 ・ 13 min read
Points 1, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 are all accessibility best practices.
But if you want more info let me know, might even write a dedicated article on it if there is too much to cover in the comments!
Thanks I'll look through it
What did I just read? 😬
My silliness put down on paper! (as always!) 🤣🤣
Psst... this isn't paper. :D
I write every article on paper, let the computer take a picture, use Machine Learning to identify the text and convert it to text, add auto formatting and then post it automatically to DEV...is that not how everyone else writes articles? 😋🤣
I like you. Have a cookie. 🍪
Great rant, and funny as always! The wrath website was extremely polite though ;P
Haha, well it caused quite a stir on here as I forgot to censor the swearing in the cover image (I got the wagging finger naughty naughty boy email from the DEV team! lol!), so I thought I needed to give a heads up!
I wanted say come confess your sins but I think you should Jsut continue sinnig, the lord can't help you
Hehe, well pretty sure attacking the Vatican website was the point where God threw their hands up and went “nope, lost cause” and moved on 🤣
I love the satire in the post. I probably wouldn't have read it if it was just plain text. Thanks for the info.
Hehe no problem, hope you found it entertaining!