Should we be worried about too much easily accessible content?

By Charlie Knight |

As technology and web content accessibility becomes something that so many developers and providers focus on, perhaps it's time to consider the question of whether too much easily accessible content could be a cause for concern. There will likely be differences of opinion on this issue, and there is unlikely to be a simple answer. But perhaps there will be a particular theme that gives us an answer.


The argument for "yes"


One of the issues associated with too much easily accessible content is that a page can become overloaded with metadata that could slow it down. Well-meaning developers could go overboard with explanations and support through off-screen text and ARIA to the point that too much of a good thing becomes a bad thing. When the excessive information for accessibility becomes an obstacle to productivity, this could be defined as "too much" accessibility.


The argument for "no"


On the other hand, many will argue that the concept of accessibility means "equality", and something can never be too equal. Furthermore, someone could define "too much accessibility" as being inaccessible in itself. The erroneous implementation of accessibility features can actually hinder the user experience, so when there's "too much accessibility" it actually amounts to no longer qualifying as "accessible".


The differences between these points of view shed light on a fundamental distinction regarding the concept of accessibility. The "yes" argument views accessibility as the processes and technical aspects of the way a webpage is built, which can be overdone and render a page "too accessible". The "no" argument, on the other hand, defines accessibility as the equivalent experience of the end user, and a page cannot be "too equivalent".


There is right in both arguments, as accessibility is both a philosophy and a process. We bring about accessibility (end user equivalence) by implementing accessibility (techniques and coding). For anyone working in accessibility, it's important to understand this distinction and how to present it.


To answer the original question, it would seem that we should be concerned about "too much" easily accessible content, because if it is overdone then the end user experience can be less than optimal.



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Charlie Knight

Written by Charlie Knight

Charlie has 3 years experience in digital marketing, helping B2B technology companies grow their businesses through inbound marketing before joining Vine Resources as Content Marketing Manager. In his spare time, Charlie enjoys travelling and the great outdoors, and he recently hiked from Mexico to Canada for charity.


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