Building accessible-app.com: Very first steps
In this article series I will be revisiting the idea that I had recently and put in a tweet, labelling it "shower thought": A kind of todomvc.com for building accessible single page apps. The comparison to todomvc is wrong insofar, that it won't be about the selection of the best framework, but about building a showcase on how to solve accessibility problems in different frameworks. But I guess even the skewed comparison in my tweet communicated the idea good enough.
This is part 1 of an article series on building "accessible-app.com".
Read the other posts:
- Very first steps
- Further steps together
- A specific app idea
- Project status, side benefits, and Routes
- Let's start building
- Dialogs and Modals
- Hello, Vue implementation
- Menu Buttons
- New menu button for Accessibook's shopping cart
- Accessible Animations
- The shopping cart and aria-live regions
So, how to start? By piling up ideas, prioritizing them - and trying to write about my thought processes while doing so. Usually, I write this stuff down in a non-public note-taking app somewhere, but this time I decided to plan this project in the open and not just to write a list of bullet points, but complete sentences. A catalyst for this decision was also Sara Soueidan's article "Just write."
Name that thing
I know, branding mustn't be the first part of evaluating an idea, but this is a Side Project™ on the internet and tradition demands to think about the domain first 🤓 (also, I need at least a working title for this blog post series!). To cut this short: I registered the domain accessible-app.com.
Right now I feel as if I need to get keywords and ideas out of my head (or browser bookmarks). I very much expect to get back to this list later.
As I mentioned my favorite web accessibility people in a follow up tweet about this idea (both a pleasure and a pain how easily you can annoy specialist folks with your obsessive ideas on Twitter), Heydon Pickering answered:
I think a resource on all aspects of progressive (single page) apps would be great, covering document structure, focus management, session timeouts, "loading..." etc etc.
That's a good starting point.
The brainstorming list
- Showcased technologies/SPA-/web-app uses cases
- Session Timeouts
- General focus management
- Drag and Drop
- Pop-Up menus/layers
- Routing/Change of location/window.history
- Loading content via AJAX
- Notifying users of changes/ARIA-live or with other measures (e.g. the page title)
- Custom components (where you can't style the native ones but need more functionality)
- Approach and communication
- Open Source on GitHub
- Communication along the lines of: "I'm not an web accessibility specialist but eager to become one. This project is me learning the stuff I feel I need to learn - in the open. Outside contribution would be really great"
- The classic side project approach: Creating the resource that I think should exist
- At the same time consolidate my knowledge of VueJS and learn more of React (and maybe someone else could do the Angular part 😇)
I guess the following thought is quite normal at this point: "You bit off more than you can chew". But, on the other hand - I have got no deadline, no customer, nothing. Just an urge to learn. And I think even if I'm going to trash this idea in four week's time (and shamefully hide this blog post) - even then I'm certain I learned a lot of things I did not know about regarding web accessibility, or at least planning projects.