Module ICL-1005:
Designing Accessible Websites

Module Facts

Run by School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering

10 Credits or 5 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

Overall aims and purpose

This module introduces the rationale for designing websites which are accessible by as many users and on as many platforms as possible. Key concepts relating to how humans interact with computers (HCI) are covered together with how site navigation, page layout and visual aspects can be used to enhance accessibility / usability. Commercial considerations and legislative requirements relating to accessibility for people with disabilities are covered. The implications of increasing use of mobile devices to access websites are discussed together with the growing trend towards responsive web design which avoids the need to maintain separate desktop and mobile sites. Compliance with web standards such as HTML5 and CSS3 is introduced as a key method to ensure that websites can be viewed / used correctly.

Course content

Indicative content includes:

● Benefits of designing sites to meet web standards (such as HTML5 and CSS) ● Introduction to latest HTML and CSS standards ● Difference between design and development roles ● Benefits of creating accessible websites for companies / organisations ● Factors that enhance or limit accessibility and how to address them ● Overview of accessibility legislation ● Basics of Human Computer Interaction (HCI) including affordances, constraints, metaphors, attention and workload, human information processing ● Website navigation. Flat v deep hierarchies. Implications for usability / accessibility ● Basic design theory (Contrast, Repetition, Alignment, Proximity) and how these principles can enhance the usability of websites ● Fixed v. fluid layouts ● Responsive web design (RWD). Benefits and drawbacks. Principle of progressive enhancement. ● Grid based layouts. 960 grid system ● Website design methods. Wireframe v. photorealistic storyboards. ● Search engine optimisation.

Assessment Criteria


Equivalent to the range 70%+. Assemble critically evaluated, relevent areas of knowledge and theory to constuct professional-level solutions to tasks and questions presented. Is able to cross-link themes and aspects to draw considered conclusions. Presents outputs in a cohesive, accurate, and efficient manner.


Equivalent to 40%. Uses key areas of theory or knowledge to meet the Learning Outcomes of the module. Is able to formulate an appropriate solution to accurately solve tasks and questions. Can identify individual aspects, but lacks an awareness of links between them and the wider contexts. Outputs can be understood, but lack structure and/or coherence.


Equivalent to the range 60%-69%. Is able to analyse a task or problem to decide which aspects of theory and knowledge to apply. Solutions are of a workable quality, demonstrating understanding of underlying principles. Major themes can be linked appropriately but may not be able to extend this to individual aspects. Outputs are readily understood, with an appropriate structure but may lack sophistication.

Learning outcomes

  1. Evaluate the website design with reference to basic design theory and accessibility considerations.

  2. Propose a website identifying its aim, target audience and navigation structure.

  3. Design an accessible standards compliant website based on the proposal.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
COURSEWORK Proposal Document

A formal proposal for the chosen design to persuade the customer the design meets their needs.

REPORT Evaluative Report

A report evaluating the final design, with an emphasis on usability and accessibility.

COURSEWORK Website Design Documentation

Produce a design plan for a website meeting a brief. This will include alternatives and interactions.


Teaching and Learning Strategy


70 of the 100 notional learning hours - Tutor directed.

The tutor directed student learning will be supported by online learning materials hosted or signposted on the Grŵp VLE.


30 of the 100 notional learning hours - Classroom based.

The classroom-based element will include student-centred learning methods such as interactive lectures, case studies, group discussions and practical workshops.


Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team

Subject specific skills

  • Knowledge and understanding of facts, concepts, principles & theories
  • Use of such knowledge in modelling and design
  • Problem solving strategies
  • Deploy theory in design, implementation and evaluation of systems
  • Recognise legal, social, ethical & professional issues
  • Knowledge and understanding of commercial and economic issues
  • Specify, design or construct computer-based systems
  • Evaluate systems in terms of quality and trade-offs
  • Deploy tools effectively
  • Development of general transferable skills
  • Deploy systems to meet business goals
  • Methods, techniques and tools for information modelling, management and security
  • Specify, deploy, verify and maintain information systems
  • Defining problems, managing design process and evaluating outcomes
  • Specify, deploy, verify and maintain computer-based systems


Reading list

Castro, E. and Hyslop, B., 2011, HTML5 + CSS3: Visual Quickstart Guide .7 th ed.

Krug, S., 2013 Don't Make Me Think : A Common Sense Approach to Web and Mobile Usability

Marcotte, E., 2010, Responsive Web Design ,[online]

Niederst Robbins, J., 2012 , Learning Web Design: A Beginner's Guide to HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and Web Graphics . 4th ed. O’Reilly

Zeldman, J and Marcotte, E., 2009, Designing with Web Standards .3 rd ed.

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses: