Making Bulb more accessible

 
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By Alla Kholmatova, Head of Design at Bulb

Energy is not something you can choose not to use. Everyone needs to keep their lights on, pay their bills, and track how much money they spend. That’s why our goal is to make the Bulb website accessible by March 2018. 

Why it’s important

We’ve been working hard to offer great service to our members but when building features our focus has been on what most members need. We haven’t always considered all of our members. What would it be like for a visually impaired person to use Bulb’s website? How would someone with motor difficulties due to conditions like arthritis navigate their Bulb account? Would a person with cognitive impairments find information easy to interpret?

Around 13.3 million people in the UK – nearly 1 in 5 of the population – have disabilities. Disabilities is an umbrella term covering impairments and limitations which affect a person’s ability to get on with normal daily activities. 

The prevalence of disability rises with age. Around 7% of children have substantial physical or mental impairments, compared to 44% of adults over State Pension age. 

How we’re going to do it

To achieve our goal of making Bulb inclusive, we will be partnering with Heydon Pickering – a designer and accessibility expert. Heydon will be joining us in January and we’re looking forward to working with him and learning from him. 

Over the next few months we will:

  • Review our websites and fix the issues, such as making Bulb more accessible to screen readers and keyboard users
  • Conduct user research with people with disabilities
  • Build up a library of inclusive patterns and guidelines and integrating into our design system, to keep Bulb accessible as we grow
  • Increase knowledge of accessible web practices in the team

We’ll be reaching out to our members to involve them in research and get their feedback. If you have disabilities and would like to be take part in the research please send an email to research@bulb.co.uk. We’d love to hear from you.

Alla Kholmatova