Retrospective of year 2021

Note: This post is older than two years. It may still be totally valid, but things change and technology moves fast. Code based posts may be especially prone to changes...

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First days of new year are perfect for a summarization of previous year – I like to call it retrospective. What I did for myself and also something I did for my employer and our customers… Happy new year!

Starting new chapters can often benefit from thinking about earlier ones and that’s why I decided to write a short summary, best called retrospective.

Retrospective on this blog in 2021

I’ve kept writing at least one blog post per week on this blog throughout whole year and wrote fifty-five posts altogether in 2021. Some of them may be shorter but I made it.

Nothing special, but I think some of them are quite good, some less so. I could maybe write a long one with lots of details instead of some but I decided that I will rather reflect my weeks in a post, like (b)log is supposed to.

Sometimes there are also more important things in life than writing blog posts, and sometimes we also need to take a break…

In 2021 this blog reached 1841 unique visitors that visited 51882 pages altogether.

Google Analytics for https://cerovac.com/a11y

According to Google Analytics there was 1841 unique visitors on my blog throughout the year, making 51882 pageviews. That’s quite good I would say, especially when I am not in any way promoting this blog.

I’ve just submitted it’s sitemap for Google to index and must say I am not happy about their choices of which page they decided to actually index and which not. But I don’t care really, this is my personal blog and not meant for producing money of ads or something like that.

I should invest some time into making the blog visually appealing and adding more images or maybe videos, I know, but I rather write more about accessibility and leave that for later time.

Accessibility is also about learning and understanding

I’m really trying to learn on a daily basis. And accessibility is a really wide and deep field, so there is always a lot to learn and even re-learn.

In 2020 I went through a lot of resources and tried to make some notes here and there. But it’s not very effective to find them later if one does not have a system in place. Therefore in 2021 I decided to do it systematically and made my own resources library.

Resources with notes and also how much time I’ve needed to go through them. Unfortunately I started with that quite late in 2021 – 29th of April, so these numbers will not cover whole year but still I am quite amazed over the numbers;

460 resources that took me around 10705 minutes to read, watch, go through. This means 7 days 10 hours and 25 minutes if we convert it like that.

I’ve invested 10705 minutes into learning about accessibility. That means 7 days 10 hours and 25 minutes. But unfortunately I started logging it on 29th of April, so almost 5 months are missing…

I started to measure my knowledge investment at the end of April.

These include articles, webinars, YouTube videos, courses and all kinds of online resources that I could link to and make my own notes + copy most interesting texts from them.

Plan for 2022 is to systematically continue with learning and producing more resources, my motivation is not to gather minutes and resources but to learn and be able to use the knowledge.

My first accessibility hackathon and open source project

I like the idea of automatic testing and I was missing a tool that combines multiple different tools under same “umbrella”. I was planning to make a tool to help me with my audits and is based on open source. So I made it and then I noticed that I can demo it on the axe-hackathon. aXeSiA is my first and for now only open source accessibility tool that I went and also presented on the Deque’s axe hackathon.

I was not able to involve multiple persons to help me, but that was not even my plan, I just wanted to get the experience of the hackathon that I’ve never done for accessibility. Other projects were amazing and it was funny when I also wanted to be a part of those but could not due to time restrictions on my part.

Still using aXeSiA quite a lot but did not improve it as much as I could as I have other priorities. But I like the concept and it saved me a lot of time and money, so totally happy with it for my personal use. Not to mention learning a lot about ACT rules, Puppeteer and Chrome DevTools Protocol. Learning something new is always the best price!

I am planning to migrate aXeSiA to Playwright as I’ve tested it and it seems more suitable with it’s multiple browser capabilities. I may join this years axe-hackathon as well, but maybe not with aXeSiA. Have been working on some proof of concepts that may come of use for it but will not reveal more for now.

Accessibility and innovation are a perfect pair

I’ve been reading a lot on innovation and then also about voice assistants and how they are getting better and more useful for everybody. So I decided to make my first voice assistant proof of concept on Google’s platform, called Accessibility Quotes. Main point was to test how it works and how it can be connected with APIs and it was quite simple actually.

Maybe I will upgrade it in 2022 but for now it serves as a simple conceptual assistant and that’s totally fine with me.

Work related efforts

I will not go into details but I must take some self criticism – I was not able to fulfill all my goals due to shortage of time. We did a lot of good things though but we could do much more. I’ll do my best to lead the accessibility efforts more effective in 2022, that I can say. We did:

  • have internal full day introduction to developers, designers, content producers and project managers,
  • external full day course that was presented by local WCAG veteran,
  • cross-team cooperation was improved a lot but should be even more,
  • I’ve noticed that folks are giving accessibility more attention, that’s always positive,
  • we managed to improve accessibility of auto-generated PDF documents for our customer,
  • we managed to improve design and accessibility of automatic emails for our customers,
  • I’ve taken initiative to make a Global Accessibility Awareness Day webinar together with The Norwegian Association of the Blind and Partially Sighted. It was amazing but we didn’t manage to make captions and transcripts until now, so that is a major room for improvement for next year,
  • I’ve made accessibility as one of job description sections for our job ads.

As mentioned – something was good but I feel that I need to invest more time and effort to make accessibility integral to our deliveries. It’s quite easy for a single team where I am a member, but to get it out to other teams take continuous effort and time investment.

So here you go – what an perfect goal for 2022.

Author: Bogdan Cerovac

I am IAAP certified Web Accessibility Specialist (from 2020) and was Google certified Mobile Web Specialist.

Work as digital agency co-owner web developer and accessibility lead.

Sole entrepreneur behind IDEA-lab Cerovac (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility lab) after work. Check out my Accessibility Services if you want me to help your with digital accessibility.

Also head of the expert council at Institute for Digital Accessibility A11Y.si (in Slovenian).

Living and working in Norway (🇳🇴), originally from Slovenia (🇸🇮), loves exploring the globe (🌐).

Nurturing the web from 1999, this blog from 2019.

More about me and how to contact me: