Blacknegative: A Diversion from Accessible Design


Blacknegative is navigated unconventionally by dragging horizontally

An example of text blending into the background

An example of an image that lacks <ALT> text

Audio Transcript:

Blacknegative is a stunning example of the benefits of the web. Between the full-screen experience, numerous interactive components, and the excessive usage of animations, music, and videos, the website effectively displays the advantages web offers as a communication medium. Yet ironically, while the site may be aesthetically beautiful, it borders on being unusable.

One is first challenged by the complicated and unconventional site navigation. While most sites scroll vertically, Blacknegative is navigated by dragging horizontally. In fact, the site cannot be navigated by a keyboard and the main menu is difficult to find, both major operability infractions of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.

Moreover, while using the site I was often disoriented and distracted by the ubiquitous animations. Much of the site’s content was hidden behind buttons, and even then, it was confusing which elements were clickable. Often, text blended into the background. As a result, it is difficult to understand the site’s content.

Blacknegative also violates the principles of perceivability, making it difficult for one with a visual or auditory impairment to navigate. A deaf user would struggle, given that the absence of captions and audio transcriptions prevents them from grasping the content of the background music and videos. Similarly, blind users would miss out on the animations, interactive elements, and high-res media given the absence of text-based equivalents. While the site is a novel exploration into the opportunities of web, its inaccessible design causes it to ineffectively communicate its message.

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