Publications by Rian

Some of my most relevant articles and blogposts, on this and other websites.


Toegankelijke foutmeldingen in formulieren

Dutch post. Summary: How do you give a user useful information about what goes wrong when filling out a form? When you take care to prevent and report errors, a user is much more likely to submit the form.

In this article I will go step by step into preventing, indicating and providing help with error messages in a form for different types of users.
June 2024, for the NL Design System.

Ik wil je wat vragen, maar ik heb geen WhatsApp!

Dutch post. Summary: Quite often government websites say ‘Send us a WhatsApp message’. But contacting a municipality or company is more than sending an app. Not everyone can call, WhatsApp or visit you. If there is no alternative, you are letting people down. That is why it is better to offer multiple contact methods, so that people have a choice.
March 2024, for the NL Design System.


Interview with Wouter: I am stronger than stuttering

Wouter stutters, a disability that is not often mentioned in the well-known list of disabilities. What is the impact of stuttering on Wouter’s life, and how can we best support him?
July 2023, for The A11Y Collective.

The European Accessibility Act 2025: It May Apply to Your Website

In most countries, government websites need to be accessible to everyone, also for people with a disability. But, in June 2025 the European Accessibility Act (EAA) will be enforced within the European Union member states. This directive also applies to ecommerce sites such as online stores. Your webshop perhaps?
July 2023, for Kinsta.

The European Accessibility Act 2025 and your website

In many countries, it is a requirement for government websites to be accessible to all individuals, including those with disabilities. However, starting from June 2025, the European Accessibility Act (EAA) will be enforced within the European Union member states.
June 2023, for Level Level.

Interview with Lilly: Two different socks

During yoga classes I noticed that Lilly always wears two different socks, I asked why. Her answer was surprisingly serious.
June 2023, for The A11Y Collective.

How to activate keyboard navigation on MacOS

To ensure complete keyboard navigation of all focusable interactive elements in MacOS Safari and Firefox, it is necessary to make the adjustments to your keyboard settings.
June 2023, for The A11Y Collective.


How to write a great alt text

Images are great. They make the webpage appealing and can explain information fast. But what if you cannot see the image? This article explains how to add an alt text and what the best content should be in different scenarios.
March 2022, for The A11Y Collective.

Accessible headings structure

Headings are the backbone of the content of a page. A visitor should be able to scan the webpage using headings to get a good impression of its content.
January 2022, for The A11y Project.


How accessible are online stores?

How accessible are web shops for visitors with disabilities? Can someone who is blind order the weekly groceries? Can someone who can’t use a mouse buy a new winter coat without having to leave the house? 

I investigated the order flow of 15 of the largest online stores in the Netherlands for web accessibility. From accepting cookies up to pressing the button to pay.
February 3 2022, for The A11Y Collective.

The first rule of ARIA

What is the first rule for using ARIA? Don’t use ARIA. Well, that’s a bit contradictory, isn’t it? Let me explain why that is.
August 5 2021, for The A11Y Collective.

The perfect link

We all know what a link on a website does: it takes you to another destination. That’s how we use and explore the web. But not everyone knows that there’s more to a link than just a clickable word or image. How do we write, design, and code a link that works for everyone on every device? Let’s dive into the world of creating the perfect link, without making a pig’s breakfast of it.
May 25, 2021, for The A11Y Collective.

We need to talk about WCAG

In this post, I am asking the accessibility community for help. Help for site owners, developers, designers and content managers all over the world. Complying with accessibility guidelines is hard because they are so inscrutable. 
May 18, 2021, for Level Level.

Webwinkel onderzoek 2021 (Dutch)

Accessibility review of 15 of the largest webshops in the Netherlands. Spoiler alert: the web accessibility needs improvement.
November 2021, for Level Level.

Accessibility overlays: common sense and nonsense

“Help! My website’s not accessible to people with disabilities!” “Oh, no problem. Just add a line of code to your website and Bob’s your uncle: your site’s fully accessible.” 
Sounds too good to be true? That’s because it is. It’s not even remotely possible. That said, there is functionality out there that can help your visitor. 
July 2021, for Level Level. Co-writer: Eva Westerhoff

Every input needs a label

Web forms are a way to contact, order, complain, discuss, subscribe and they are an essential functionality on a website. It’s therefore important to optimise a form for conversion, usability and accessibility. One big help for a user: always make the label of a form control visible and connected. Let’s explain how and why.
June 2021, for The A11Y Collective.


Websites & accessibility: invest in education

My recommendation: make web accessibility part of the core curriculum of relevant professional training, and offer affordable continuing education on the subject.
May 2019, for Level Level.