Director of Accessibility; Nomensa
With a background in psychology and an expert in human–computer interaction, Alastair Campbell is a leading light in the understanding of where man meets machines. He is driven by a desire to make the digital world accessible through the best possible user experience.
The result is that those he works with can implement more humane interfaces that enable their customers to achieve their goals, inline with the core business goals.
In 2001 he helped establish Nomensa, where he is the director of accessibility and user experience practitioner. He also works tirelessly on exciting new research and development projects to continually discover new methods and innovations to help people get the most out of online technology.
His career milestones include pioneering the use of web standards within Nomensa and formulating and conducting thousands of usability and accessibility tests. In the latter case he has helped uncover how well people are being served by the technology they use. In all too many cases, the news isn’t good, but Alastair is determined to change that. For example, he lead the creation of an accessible Content Management System.
This has led to work with some of the UK’s biggest brands across both the public and private sectors, including DirectGov, British Gas, the AA and the British Library.
Away from the office Alastair enjoys windsurfing racing as part of the UK Windsurfing Association.
Where UX fails accessibility
UX and accessibility go hand in hand, without a good UX process creating a usable product, no amount of work on accessibility will make it good for people with disabilities.
You can think of UX as optimising for the majority, and accessibility and scaling out an interface for minorities, but where do those aims conflict? There are interfaces being created for “great UX” that are fundamentally inaccessible. Do they need to be?
At each stage of design there are four questions I ask to ensure an interface is accessible. If you can build those into your process, you won’t get blindsided after launch.