The A11y Project is an open-source project created to make web-accessibility easier for designers and developers. It’s helped me learn web accessibility along the way, and I wanted to give back to the project.

I was thrilled to be able to do the redesign and coding, work alongside Dave Rupert, and get a taste of positive feedback from people in the web development community that I highly respect, like Brad Frost and Marcy Sutton.

Problem

The A11y Project was using a standard Bootstrap site with lots of bloat and wasn't practicing what it preached.

Clocking in at 3.4mb and not meeting WCAG 2.0 Level AA standards, the open-source A11y Project called for help with a redesign. No one was taking the initiative, so I jumped in and proposed design goals and a path forward.

Solution

I outlined design goal, lead the conversation around the redesign, and designed/coded the site.

As my first community open-source project, I wanted to help make the project happen, not necessarily push myself to the front to lead it. I asked for feedback and thought of ways for people to easily contribute. It became apparent that the way forward was for me to take the lead and do check-ins with Dave Rupert (@davatron5000) at regular stages throughout the project.

Outcome

The A11y Project's site is a content-focused, quickly loading site that meets WCAG 2.0 level AA guidelines.

We improved the legibility and accessibility of the site, cut the number of requests by 35%, and went from a page size of 3.4mb to 277kb. A big performance and usability boost for all!

Speed test from Pingdom comparing the old site (65 requests, load time 2.22s, page size 3.4mb) to the new site (42 requests, load time 1.4s, page size 277kb)