Mindful Design

I know it’s strange; I’m a redneck, and rednecks usually aren’t into meditation unless it involves beer and fishing (not that there’s anything wrong with that). But then there’s me. I’m into meditation, yoga, and qi gong. I’ve recently started yoga, and I have practiced qi going for years. I like to meditate, and I’ve even built 2 labyrinths. I walk our labyrinth regularly and recently started taking a mindfulness class.

My Grass Labyrinth

The class is awesome, and it’s really made me realize just how much of the time I spend is just on “auto-pilot.” To be mindful or aware, to be truly present- man, that isn’t easy to do.

Of course, I’m thinking about applying mindfulness to web design, and that can be tricky too. Designing for everyone, being mindful of all the potential visitors. Here are just a few considerations to think about when mindfully designing a website.

  • What types of barriers could my website’s users have? Could they have a slow connection, a physical impairment?
  • 1 out of 5 people in the U.S. has a disability. Do my users need assistive technologies to access my websites, like screen readers, braille keyboards, or maybe a mouth stick or head wand.
  • Is my message clear and concise?
  • Is my code clear and concise?
  • Am I writing to what my users need to hear, not just what I want to say?
  • Is my website, images, music, and videos inclusive? Are they empowering people, or are they excluding?
  • Am I following best practices for modern web design?

Incidentally, I guess this list could go on for a good while, but I hear some bluegill calling me.