Button, Button, Eliminate That Button

The Wall Street Journal has an interesting article talking about a strong dislike for physical buttons on hardware by Steve Jobs. One of the things that’s frustrating to me about articles like this is the fact that the reporter rarely seems to apply what has been learned from other reporting to the story of the day.


I recognized the reporter, Nick Wingfield, as someone who wrote about web accessibility in the past for the Journal. I know back when I was talking more about web accessibility to the press I had several conversations and e-mail exchanges with Wingfield on the topic. While the focus of the article had nothing to do with accessibility, it would have been nice to see this touched on in talking about the implications of the design approach being emphasized.


Yet I see not one reference in the article to the accessibility implications of a world with touch screens, flat displays and devices that offer little in the way of tactile distinctiveness. There are approaches being explored to making such technology more accessible but in my opinion having completely flat devices makes accessibility much more complex.

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