Archiv rubriky: Rozhovory

WebExpo 2024: 5+1 Questions for Dominika Potužáková and Ondřej Raul, Designers and Researchers

The WebExpo 2024 conference is focused on accessibility and offers several opportunities for those interested in this topic to get to know it better. One is the talk by Dominika Potužáková and Ondřej Raul, named Legible Prague: Inclusive revolution of city wayfinding.

In this talk, Dominika and Ondřej will explore the vital role that diverse perspectives play in crafting an inclusive wayfinding system for Prague. This talk underscores the significance of placing a variety of people, each with unique needs, at the core of the design process. By understanding and addressing a range of requirements, from physical abilities to socio-cultural differences, you will learn how to create a wayfinding system that ensures accessibility and navigational ease for every resident and visitor.

Firstly, let me briefly introduce Dominika and Ondřej. Dominika is a multidisciplinary designer specialising in research in public spaces and physical products at her design studio, Bohemia design & research. Ondřej is a UX designer, researcher, and co-founder of the strategic design company, Stride XL.


Radek: Can you explain the importance of diverse perspectives in designing an inclusive wayfinding system for a city like Prague?

Domi & Ondřej: Diverse perspectives are crucial in designing an inclusive wayfinding system for a city like Prague because they address a basic human need for navigation and accessibility, as emphasized by Veronika Egger, an inclusive information designer and one of the jury in the international competition for the new navigation system in Prague. Public services must be truly for everyone, ensuring they do not discriminate against any individuals, including those who rely on public transportation or inability to walk long distances. For many, public transport is not a choice but a necessity. Therefore, an inclusive wayfinding system ensures that everyone, regardless of their circumstances, can navigate the city efficiently and with dignity.

Radek: What are some common pitfalls to avoid when creating an inclusive wayfinding system, and how did you address them in your project?

Domi & Ondřej: Common pitfalls to avoid when creating an inclusive wayfinding system include not inviting everyone to the table or involving them too late in the process. It’s essential to include diverse voices from the beginning to ensure all perspectives are considered. Another mistake is focusing solely on numbers rather than the needs of the people. Even if a diagnosis affects only a few, situational disabilities can impact many, and their needs must be addressed. Also relying only on quantitative research can overlook important qualitative insights. Additionally, insufficient communication about the project can lead to misunderstandings and lack of user engagement. In our project, we tackled these issues by engaging stakeholders early, incorporating both quantitative and qualitative research, and maintaining transparent and ongoing communication throughout the process.

Radek: How did you approach recruiting people with special needs?

Domi & Ondřej: When you start digging a bit, you’ll find that there are many organizations in the Czech Republic that bring together people with similar needs. Likewise, you’ll come across various groups on social media. The only thing left is to not be afraid and reach out to them. In our experience, they are usually very willing to participate in research and provide feedback. Additionally, we are very fortunate to always be able to reach out to colleagues who work “full-time” on accessibility and inclusion (thanks, Radek) for help.

At the same time, it’s important to realize that people’s needs often overlap. It’s not always necessary to find someone with such specific needs that it complicates recruitment significantly. There is likely an adequate alternative. But that’s a bit of a spoiler of what we’ll be talking about in our presentation :).

Radek: How do you balance the requirements of inclusivity with practical constraints such as budget, space, and existing infrastructure?

Domi & Ondřej: The biggest challenge from our point of view is space and existing infrastructure. Even though new sign holders are being developed, it will take some time and the new holders won’t magically appear everywhere. Someone will have to install them. Installation often means electricity wires. Electricity wires means new technical documentation. And we could go on as you can imagine. However, it will help if you plan all these activities at the beginning of this project, which is our case.

Throughout the development process we use an iterative design approach. This allows us to make gradual adjustments and refinements of the design, ensuring the system meets diverse needs before full implementation. By fine-tuning the design in stages, we can manage costs effectively while progressively integrating the wayfinding system into the city.

Radek: What advice would you give to other cities or organizations looking to create their own inclusive wayfinding systems, based on your experiences in Prague?

Domi & Ondřej: Based on our experiences in Prague, our advice to other cities or organizations looking to create their own inclusive wayfinding systems would be to adopt a start-from-scratch approach instead of merely tweaking existing systems. Thinking holistically and starting early helps a lot and be prepared for a lengthy process—it’s definitely more than a couple of months‘ project. Embrace iteration and validation, ensuring you test the system in real environments with a wide range of users. Engage stakeholders early on, communicate transparently and continuously about the project, and don’t hesitate to reach out to us for guidance and support.

Radek: Why should WebExpo attendees join your talk?

Domi & Ondřej: We see two main motivations for attending our talk. First, participants will gain an understanding of the importance and impact of inclusive design. We will discuss the specific needs of different groups of people and explain why inclusive design matters to everyone. Second, attendees will have a unique opportunity to ask questions about the Legible Prague project. We know there are mixed emotions surrounding it, so we hope to address any concerns and explain the reasoning behind certain design decisions.

Thank you very much for the interview, and I look forward to your talk at WebExpo 2024!


For those who would like to join Dominika, Ondřej and other excellent speakers at WebExpo 2024, there is a coupon code “poslepu“ for 20 % off the ticket price.

Buy the Ticket & Enjoy WebExpo 2024

Design experiences: Dominika Potužáková – Tajemství nacítění uživatelů

WebExpo 2024: 5+1 Questions for Tereza Kosnarová, Service Designer and Researcher

The WebExpo 2024 conference is focused on accessibility and offers several opportunities for those interested in this topic to dive deeper into it. One of them is Tereza Kosnarová’s talk, Designing for All: Overcoming Barriers in Inclusive Design.

In this talk, Tereza will share insights from real-world research and explore the everyday limitations that UX designers, researchers, and other professionals in product roles face. She’ll also share a simple roadmap to navigating the world of inclusive design. Whether you’re dealing with concerns about involving diverse voices, communicating about sensitive topics, or adapting to various user needs, get ready to learn how to make the digital world more inclusive.

Firstly, let me briefly introduce Tereza. Tereza is a passionate user researcher, service designer focused on social innovation, educator and Certified Professional in Accessibility Core Competencies. She is an advocate for people who are not always heard and strives to contribute to a fair and inclusive society that does not forget anyone’s needs.

Do you want to know more about Tereza? Check out her LinkedIn or her website 🙂

Moreover, Tereza offers a 20% discount on her workshops to WebExpo 2024 participants. Choose one (or some 🙂 of her workshops on www.uxworkshopy.cz, use promo code Webexpo24 (code is valid by the end of October), and learn more about prototyping, inclusive design or facilitation.


Radek: From your research, what are some common barriers UX designers and researchers face when trying to implement inclusive design?

Tereza: UX designers and researchers often face several barriers when it comes to inclusive design. A major problem is the lack of motivation and resistance to change within the organisation. It’s like trying to turn a big ship—it takes time and effort. Also, many people don’t have enough knowledge about inclusive language and assistive technologies, which can make things tricky.

Another challenge is choosing the right approach for specific projects because every project is unique. For example, a project for a healthcare app might need different considerations than one for an educational platform. Additionally, there’s a tendency to see accessibility from a medical perspective, focusing on individual disabilities rather than creating environments that are accessible to everyone. This can limit the overall inclusivity of a design process.

There’s also a subtle bias called ableism in some design practices, where the needs of people with disabilities might be unintentionally overlooked. Plus, maintaining the momentum for inclusive efforts can be tough with shifting priorities and limited resources.

Radek: How can designers effectively involve diverse voices in the design process to ensure a more inclusive outcome?

Tereza: Great question! One effective way to involve diverse voices is through participatory design. This means inviting representatives from the target groups directly affected by the design to join the process. For example, if you’re designing a travel app, involve people with mobility issues to understand their needs better.

Creating a safe and open environment where everyone feels comfortable sharing their experiences is also crucial. Think of it like hosting a friendly roundtable discussion where everyone’s voice matters. Additionally, using inclusive research methods, such as accessible feedback channels and creating personas that reflect diverse needs, can be very helpful. Collaborating with external consultants (like you or your partner in crime Ondřej Pohl) who have expertise in specific disabilities can provide valuable insights too.

Radek: What strategies do you recommend for balancing the need for inclusivity with other design and business constraints, such as deadlines and budgets?

Tereza: Balancing inclusivity with business constraints can be a bit of a juggling act, but it’s definitely doable with some strategic planning. First, try to integrate inclusive design principles early in the design process. It’s like baking a cake—adding the right ingredients at the beginning makes everything smoother later on.

Using tools like the W3C Accessibility Maturity Model can help assess your current level of accessibility and plan for gradual improvements. Educating your team about the benefits of inclusive design—both from a social responsibility and business perspective—can foster motivation. For instance, showing how an inclusive product can tap into a broader market can be a strong argument.

Involve users with disabilities in usability testing to gain insights without significant extra costs. Finally, highlight potential legal requirements and the market reach of accessible products to make a strong case for inclusivity.

Radek: Can you walk us through the simple roadmap you’ve developed for navigating inclusive design? What are its key components?

Here’s a straightforward roadmap for inclusive design:

  • Awareness and Education: Start by educating your team about why inclusive design is important. Use resources like glossaries and playbooks to build a common understanding. Think of it as setting the stage for everyone to be on the same page.
  • Assessment and Planning: Evaluate your current design practices using frameworks like the W3C Accessibility Maturity Model. Identify key areas for improvement and plan small, manageable changes.
  • Inclusive Research: Engage diverse users early in the design process through participatory design methods. Use accessible feedback channels and create inclusive personas to gather comprehensive user insights.
  • Design and Implementation: Apply inclusive design principles throughout the process. Aim for universally accessible environments rather than focusing on specific disabilities.
  • Testing and Iteration: Continuously test your designs with diverse user groups. Use their feedback to iteratively improve accessibility and inclusivity.
  • Sustainability and Advocacy: Promote inclusive design within your organisation by highlighting its long-term benefits. Advocate for ongoing education and the inclusion of diverse voices in future projects.

Radek: How do you handle pushback or resistance from stakeholders who may not initially see the value in investing in inclusive design?

Tereza: Handling pushback from stakeholders can be challenging, but it’s all about clear communication and demonstrating value. Highlight legal requirements and potential financial benefits, such as reaching a broader market and improving customer satisfaction. Use data and case studies to show how inclusive design enhances usability and sparks innovation.

For example, share success stories from other companies that have benefited from inclusive practices. Address concerns about costs and timelines by showing that early integration of inclusive practices can prevent more significant expenses later. Emphasise the ethical and social responsibility aspects, and showcase how inclusivity aligns with the company’s values.

Radek: Why should WebExpo attendees join your talk?

Tereza: WebExpo attendees should definitely join this session to gain valuable insights into overcoming barriers to inclusive design. They’ll learn practical strategies for creating accessible and inclusive products and understand the importance of including diverse voices in the design process. This talk is research-based, and I will share tips from 60 designers, researchers, and accessibility specialists.

Tereza, thank you very much for the interview, and I look forward to your talk at WebExpo 2024!


For those who would like to join Tereza and other excellent speakers at WebExpo 2024, there is a coupon code “poslepu“ for 20 % off the ticket price.

Buy the Ticket & Enjoy WebExpo 2024

Jak podniká UX výzkumnice Tereza Kosnarová

WebExpo 2024: 5+1 Questions for Ondřej Pohl, Accessibility Director at Actum Digital

The WebExpo 2024 conference is focused on accessibility and offers several opportunities for those interested in this topic to dive deeper into it. One of them is Ondřej Pohl’s talk, Creating an accessible website: Expectations vs. reality.

In this talk, Ondřej will guide you through the whole process of creating an accessible website for the Institute of Experimental Medicine of the Czech Academy of Sciences, from initial planning to the Accessibility Statement. He’ll cover common accessibility mistakes that can occur during the design, development, and content creation stages, providing detailed and specific examples. You will learn how challenging accessibility projects can be, especially if you cooperate with several companies.

Ondřej Pohl

Firstly, let me briefly introduce Ondřej. Ondřej has been working in UX, research, and team management for more than 12 years, but for the last 4+ years, he has primarily focused on accessibility. Currently, he is the Accessibility Director at ACTUM Digital, an international digital technology agency. His main goal is to popularise accessibility and educate people, which he considers the easiest way to make websites and applications accessible. He is also invested in getting the Czech government and public sector to embrace accessibility.

Radek: Can you walk us through the initial planning phase for creating an accessible website? What key considerations should be addressed from the start?

Ondřej: In the initial planning phase for creating an accessible website, several key considerations must be addressed to ensure a successful project. Here are a few crucial aspects to consider:

  • Motivation and goals: It is essential to understand the primary motivation behind making the website accessible. Is the goal compliance with legal requirements, enhancing user experience for a broader audience, or another reason? This will help shape the overall approach and priorities for the project.
  • Team structure and supervision: Determine whether an internal team or an external agency will handle the project. If using an external agency, will the accessibility supervision be part of their contract? Clear roles and responsibilities must be established early to ensure seamless collaboration and accountability.
  • Team experience and expertise: Assess the team’s experience with accessibility. Who will work on the project—seniors, juniors, or a mix? Understanding the team’s skill level will help plan necessary training or support and ensure accessibility best practices are followed.

These factors, among others, can significantly influence the project’s setup, direction, timeline, and cost.

Radek: What are some of the most common accessibility mistakes you’ve encountered during the design phase, and how can they be avoided?

Ondřej: One of the most common issues designers face is creating input fields with outlines with a very low contrast ratio against the background, making it difficult or even impossible for some users to see them. Ensuring a high contrast ratio for input field outlines is crucial to avoid this problem.

Another frequent mistake involves proximity problems. For instance, placing the label of an input field too far from the field itself, or displaying a notification after a successful action far from the interactive element that triggered it. This can pose significant challenges for users with large magnification settings or tunnel vision, making it hard for them to locate the label or notification, resulting in a poor user experience.
Interestingly, most accessibility issues arise during the development phase rather than the design phase.

Radek: How do you handle the coordination and communication challenges when working with multiple companies on an accessibility project?

Ondřej: Managing coordination and communication with multiple companies on an accessibility project can be challenging, especially at the beginning. When three or more companies collaborate, time management and the quality of outcomes can be significantly impacted. Maintaining a friendly and understanding approach without forcing decisions is crucial, as that often leads to backlash.

From my experience, the most important aspect is clearly defining who the final decision-maker is. In situations of disagreement, having a designated person to make the final call is essential to prevent chaos and ensure smooth progress.

Radek: How do you balance the expectations of creating an accessible website with the reality of the practical challenges that arise during the process?

Ondřej: Initial expectations about accessibility often differ significantly from reality. For example, many believe that accessibility is solely the responsibility of developers or that it can be fully automated. To address this, I focus on educating both the team and the client, helping them understand the true scope and nature of accessibility.

Regarding practical challenges during creation, I advocate for a „progress over perfection“ mindset. If we encounter an issue that cannot be made accessible at the moment, we document it for future improvement. Accessibility is a journey, not a destination, and continuous progress is key.

Radek: Based on your experience, what advice would you give to someone starting their first accessibility project to ensure they meet accessibility standards effectively?

Ondřej: This question could be answered in several ways, but I will focus on meeting accessibility standards.

Firstly, suppose your primary goal is to meet accessibility standards and comply with legislation, especially if you are concerned about potential litigation (such as in the United States). In that case, it’s crucial to work with or hire an accessibility professional with proven experience to help you.

Unfortunately, I’ve seen many instances where attempts to improve digital accessibility resulted in „Frankenstein“ solutions that sometimes made things worse than if no changes had been made.

Consider this: Would you entrust your project’s cybersecurity to someone with only basic knowledge and no previous experience? The same principle applies to accessibility.

I don’t want to demotivate anyone—it’s commendable when people strive to make things accessible. The principle of „progress over perfection“ is vital. However, to approach accessibility systematically and ensure compliance with legislation, you need to involve experts with the necessary expertise.

If you decide to tackle accessibility independently, without professional help, remember that accessibility is not only about screen reader users. It’s not enough to test your solution with a blind user. Some people use only the keyboard, control digital solutions by voice or eye-tracking, have difficulty understanding the language, are distracted by seeing motion, magnify content, or use mobile devices horizontally, among many other considerations.

Radek: Why should WebExpo attendees join your talk?

Ondřej: Attendees should join my talk because it is practical, educational, and hopefully fun. It will be presented in a way that anyone should understand. They will gain insights into the expectations of companies and teams, which I believe will be interesting and possibly eye-opening for some of them.

Unlike many accessibility talks and webinars, which tend to be more theoretical, my presentation will feature practical examples and actionable information that attendees can take and apply directly to their projects.

Ondřej, thank you very much for the interview, and I look forward to your talk at WebExpo 2024!


For those who would like to join Ondřej and other excellent speakers at WebExpo 2024, there is a coupon code “poslepu“ for 20 % off the ticket price.

Buy the Ticket & Enjoy WebExpo 2024

#2 Ondřej Pohl – Accessibility, Advices on starting in accessibility, Life in the AI time