“Most people make the mistake of thinking design is what it looks like. That’s not what we think design is. It’s not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works”.
- Steve Jobs
It is usually difficult to pioneer a new niche and make others follow. Rather, many persons and even professionals prefer to be lead than to lead the way. Everyone is afraid of making mistakes hence not willing to try out something new; however, this is not the case of Shunsuke Hayashi who championed the idea of accessibility in digital design and placed him at the top of his field.
"When I first found the passion for UX and UI design, I was deeply drawn to the information architect and the fact that I could organize things in a way that I could offer audience a cleaner and simpler web and app design to increase ease in navigation. But throughout the years I’ve realized that to be a good user interface and user experience designer is not JUST about making things easy to use and pretty for our eyes to look at-- it is to create an inclusive environment. Featuring a system library that could be used repeatedly and is accessible for all users."
Digital design has always been a combination of technical and artistic skills. These two attribute are inseparable yet they are rarely found in a single individual. Around the Internet, we can see beautiful examples of the interaction of technology and visually appealing windows to information; technology has come to stay revolutionize the world.
Digital design has to do with excellence. As part of the Internet, digital design has tribe for excellence, which usually means an inherent visual appeal and an organic user interaction. UX and UI design work to accomplish that, but more often than not, most designers have forgotten another aspect of user interaction – accessibility.
Accessibility as part of web design standard was first heard of in 1999 at the Web Accessibility Initiative, part of the World Wide Web Consortium and it was updated in 2008 with the version 2.0. Despite this, the industry always regards accessibility as an extra to web design. However, there are individuals who spend time and resources trying to better the accessibility of web designs.
The importance of accessibility is sometimes left aside; without it, impaired people would struggle and maybe unable to get access to important information on the Internet. More and more we see how effective and reliable online tools and information can be for our society. Accessibility is a tool that provides a discreet environment where everyone is truly welcome and is able to take advantage of what the Internet has to offer. However, accessibility should not be only focused on supporting the public, but it can also be a powerful tool to increase the demand of businesses online, where content becomes more accessible to more people.
Cueing from the fact that accessibility is an all-important tool in web design, Shunsuke Hayashi, an accomplished stellar digital designer, a graduate of the Pratt Institute in New York, said: “People often ask me where does accessibility and design meet. Should we take on one or the other? My answer is take on accessibility to make your design even better”. Hayashi’s work and ideas envision accessibility as an integral part of digital design, “It is not only out of pure social responsibility that designers should work with accessibility in their mind, but also accessibility as an unused asset in the industry”.
Shunsuke Hayashi has been creating his own set of pattern library and not neglecting accessibility consideration to them. He created the 'Accessibility and Pattern Library'. This has made him the top of his field when Accessibility is being talked about.
Hayashi adds his idea on accessibility on his design as a way to demonstrate to every designer in the industry that he walks his talk. Hayashi is at the top in his field as his designs are very well appreciated globally. He incorporates this thought on his designs, not only as a personal goal, but also as a way to encourage others in the industry to understand the real importance of accessibility. He represents the side of the design industry trying to change the perception of accessibility with their work.
The digital industry has created a portal for the world to access content and information as never before, it will certainly improve in the future and we as society, will increasingly rely on this content and information. Accessibility has led us to reform on architecture, physical design and other areas; however, Hayashi leads the way in incorporating accessibility in digital design.