What is your line of work? Why did you join the technology business in the first place? What motivated you?
As a web designer, my work touches everything related to the front web: from creating original visual identities and designs to their application on the browser – what implies the knowledge of the design principles and a deep understanding of the front web and its technologies.
Once graduated in Visual Communication, I’ve started working with electronic documentation, and I was pretty fortunate to start working with the web as soon as in 1994/1995.
My “incursion” on information technology happened by a lucky chance – being at the right place at the right time --, but its synergy with my creative and design skills were readily obvious: content and design are inevitably intertwined and interdependent.
Until today, this entanglement between technology and creativity is one of the things that motivates me the most in my work.
What do you find more challenging in your profession?
What I find more challenging in my profession is exactly what makes me love it so much: the fast pace in which web technologies evolve. Keeping up with the daily novelties on the web makes my work exceptional and stimulating. I never feel I’m doing the same thing over and over.
What are you most proud of in your work?
Working with the web makes me proud. No other technology is as open, universal, and accessible as the web; having the feeling that I contribute a little bit for its success is a source of satisfaction.
My work with web accessibility is also very gratifying! It indeed implies a true engagement as I have to compose between teaching, consulting and following-up clients and development teams, but having the opportunity to answer real users' needs and offer them the maximal comfort in usability makes all the effort worthwhile.
In 2014, I’ve worked on my first web project involving accessibility. Since then, I’ve advocated for it in many different ways, from promoting the Accessibility Day – a whole day of talks and demos about digital accessibility with important names like Leonie Watson --, to developing accessibility training and consulting.
Today, I’m proud to say that I contributed to raising awareness on the importance of accessibility at Worldline and the feeling that I’m effectively useful in the work I do as accessibility advocate and consultant. It is very gratifying to be able to work closely with our clients and accompany them in making their web site not just accessible to all, but also pleasing and comfortable to consult.
How would you define digital accessibility?
Web accessibility aims to give users access to all the content and functionalities of a site despite eventual material, contextual or physical constraints they may present. In other words, it means we are not designing and developing for ourselves; instead, we need to include empathy in all the steps of a project to understand the problems a user may face when using our sites – that’s the only way we can find the best solutions for them.
Web accessibility is not about checking a long list of criteria; as an integral part of a positive user experience, we need to know our users and their needs and foresee the obstacles and problems they may face when using our website or application. Web accessibility is about exploring new ways to enhance the experience for all users.
How Worldline can contribute to increasing accessibility and digital inclusion?
We’ve been doing a lot for many years now, but surely there’s still a lot to be done.
In-house, we keep promoting accessibility training and awareness; besides, I’m advocating for a detailed project methodology to assure accessibility will be respected and properly maintained during the whole project’s lifetime. This is my main concern today and based in my own experience; I believe that’s the main way Worldline can contribute to increasing accessibility and digital inclusion and continuing to enhance the accessibility services we provide our clients.
I’ve being working for some years now for the web site “Pour les personnes agées” (For the elderly) -- a website dedicated to informing and advice elderly people and caregivers about their entitlements and benefits, with an important database to help in finding housing options in France. The accessibility here plays a crucial role: as a state-owned website, accessibility is mandatory, but also the target audience is seniors; it is not surprising then that our clients have high standards regarding accessibility.
For this project, I work not only as an accessibility consultant but also as a front developer (HTML/CSS). These two sides of action give me a wide and rich notion of the needs and strengths of the website, allowing me to properly advise my client and properly act upon the quality of the design and the code.
Working closely with the client and with the development team allows me to keep track of each evolution and consequently, to assure that accessibility is always respected.