What if you could increase the addressable user base in the US of your mobile app by up to 10%? Or what if you could increase the total addressable size of the US market that you can sell your app to by up to 20%?
And, finally, what if you could achieve these increases in addressable share almost solely through the design of your app, by incorporating techniques that have little to no impact in the typical user experience or cost of development?
All you need is the awareness of the techniques, and then the training to apply them to your craft.
Well, that’s exactly the opportunity proposed through attending the John Slatin Access University (or AccessU, as it’s known) which is in its 10th year this month.
Produced by Knowbility, Inc., an Austin-headquartered non-profit and inspired by Professor John Slatin (photo above), founder of the Accessibility Institute at the University of Texas, who passed away in 2008, AccessU is a 3-day conference, May 17-19, conducted primarily on the St. Edwards University campus. Here is what one past participant has to say about the conference:
Everything I know about accessibility and universal design, I owe to Knowbility. Their AccessU conferences set the standard for accessibility training. The staff at Knowbility are a smart, passionate, and hardworking bunch. Knowbility does more for accessibility awareness than any other organization I can think of.
– Marla Erwin, Interactive Art Director, Whole Foods Market, Designer and Accessibility Consultant
While the conference covers a wide variety of state-of-the-art design and development techniques and tools, app developers and mobile designers should especially take note of these two sessions:
- iPhone/iPad Web and App Accessibility, by Paul Adam
- Mobile Accessibility: What You Need to Know, by Derek Featherstone
When you consider that nearly 1 in 10 people experience some form of physical impairment or disability during their lifetimes (ranging from being born blind to temporarily losing mobility of a hand through an injury) or that nearly 20% of the US economy is comprised of public sector and other heavily regulated industry which frequently require that technology products conform to federal and state accessibility mandates, then you immediately understand the value of the knowledge and skills that a conference like AccessU provides.
But, when you further consider how a relatively low-impact set of design choices for your app can have a profound, positive effect on the day-to-day life of a sight-impaired child or adult, it’s easy to see why AccessU is among the best training dollars a designer or developer could spend this year.
So, here’s the bad news: if you are reading this post on Wednesday, then you’ve already missed Adams’ presentation. But, the good news is that you still have two more days to attend and there are day rates available.
My colleagues at Appconomy plan to attend AccessU and we encourage you to as well!