Essential Accessibility Annotations for a Smoother Design-to-Development Handoff

A presentation at axe-con by Carie Fisher

Accessibility annotations are similar in concept to design annotations in that they are often added to a wireframe or design to help explain elements that a developer may not otherwise perceive, understand, or account for during implementation. Instead of highlighting design elements, accessibility annotations focus on areas where accessibility conformance standards will come into play once the design has been translated into code. Today there are hundreds of annotation toolkits, plugin options, and just as many articles, tutorials, and demos explaining how they work.

While it is true that accessibility annotations have made communication between the designer and developer more straightforward, what exactly is being said? Are developers getting too much information or not enough? Since it is not possible to annotate every little aspect of accessibility in a design file, what annotations are essential for the greatest user impact?

This talk will explore accessibility design annotations from the perspective of a front-end developer who has been handed many a design file over their career and had to make the most accessible choices possible based on limited information.