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Why our Junior Developer thinks digital inclusion and accessibility should be your top priority

By Chatter, on 13th March 2024

Our Junior Web Developer, Siân has been with us for 9 months now and has already grown within her role and learnt so much about web development so far. 

Do you have a favourite project you’ve worked on at Chatter? 

I’ve really enjoyed seeing career sites transition from an empty folder to a fully functional live site out in the world. As I’m relatively new to the world of web development I love the site builds as they offer me hands-on experience of such a vast range of different concepts and there’s always a new problem to solve, as each client is so different. 

A recent build required us to make the site more interactive for its logged-in users by allowing them to comment on articles and answer polls. As this was something new for us, I was challenged with the task of creating a proof-of-concept for the feature, and it was a huge confidence boost to see this through from the research stage all the way to being implemented and working on the live site. 


What do clients often forget to consider when briefing a careers website? 

We all love a beautiful site but it can be so easy to get lost in how a site looks and forget about ensuring accessibility. 

According to research by WebAIM in 2023, 96.3% of homepages had some degree of non-compliance with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, almost all of which could be easily solved with tiny design tweaks or enhancements. Simple considerations such as checking the brand colours for your site meet contrast requirements, ensuring the items on the page are organised in a logical way and considering the reading level of users when briefing your copy content, can make a huge difference for site users with disabilities or access requirements. 

Luckily, these days, enhancing accessibility doesn’t have to mean having to compromise on visually appealing design features - at Chatter, we’re passionate about accessibility and can work closely alongside our creative team to ensure that we get you a careers site that can do both.


What’s been one of the most complex digital challenges you’ve faced and what was the solution? 

More companies are using social media and link-sharing to advertise open positions. Creating a social post when a new vacancy is added is a great way to promote these openings to a greater pool of potential applicants; however, the more of these posted, the more difficult it becomes for a client to ensure their posts stand out. 

Our Open Graph image generation tool - these are the small images that appear when you share a link to a page. Usually, there’s only one image for the entire website, so each job description you share will have the exact same image and blend in with the rest. It picks out relevant information from a job description page (e.g. the job title and an image) and uses them to generate a custom image for each page, meaning that each vacancy you share will stand out and highlight relevant information in a more eye-catching way. We are also able to create templates for other pages across a site, such as people profiles or benefits, making it a very handy and time-saving tool to have!

What exciting things could AI help with in recruitment?

Although still very much a work in progress, AI has the potential to play a huge role in improving the accessibility of web services for people with disabilities. Features such as AI-generated image descriptions and Optical Character Recognition (which extracts text content from scanned documents or PDFs) are already supporting screen-reader users to consume previously inaccessible multi-media web content, whilst voice navigation and predictive typing functions can support those with motor difficulties to navigate sites more efficiently. 

A number of tools are also help summarise and simplify web content to reduce cognitive load for users with ADHD, or generate content at a more accessible reading age for those with reading difficulties. 

Whilst there’s no doubting AI’s huge contribution to bridging the technology accessibility gap, it only takes a glance at an auto-captioned social media video to see that there’s still a long way to go before it’s able to accurately reflect the complexities and nuances of human interaction. 

Though an exciting prospect, AI’s current limitations mean it’s best used as a supplementary tool,  informing on areas that can be enhanced through small, gradual improvements, rather than relying upon it solely.


Why should people choose Chatter as a digital partner?

An in-house digital team means there’s more opportunity for cross-agency and in-team collaboration - it helps us come up with new ideas, more innovative solutions and more effective problem-solving. It also means we have a more experienced team who can understand the more complex challenges of careers sites and help better align them with our client's recruitment challenges and objectives. 


What do you enjoy most about working at Chatter?

I love the people and I love that, because we have such a rich variety of clients, every day is different. There’s always something new to learn or a new solution to find and I really enjoy the challenge of problem-solving.

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