J.K. Rowling’s website: 1 part Magic, 1 part Myst and 3 parts accessibility
Being the last person on the planet who is not an avid Harry Potter fan (hey, I like the boy wizard well enough –!) I’m probably the worst person to write about this but –
J.K. Rowling has built an impressive personal web site to satisfy everyone’s deathly hallows withdrawal. It is part news blog, part wizard encyclopedia, and part graphical adventure game; the site is stocked with mysterious elements which draw the curiosity but do not divulge their contents to the casual passer-by — cell phones that dial, locked ID cards and numerous light switches, dials and portals to destinations that could only remind me of my first experiences with Myst. I have not managed to figure out any of the riddles or codes to unlock the contents hidden therein, but assume that they are there for the most studious of Hogwarts pupils.
The interesting thing about the site (pertaining to UIs) is that Ms. Rowling has carefully designed multiple versions of the site for accessibility reasons. In addition to her main Flash site, which has stereo sounds of spooky owls hooting and wind blowing, she has an sighted-only site which textually describes the audio being played at every moment. This accesible version also supports text enlargment and motion reduction. But in addition to these features, she has a completely separate, text-only version of the sit
With the jury still out on Flash’s accessibility features, we commend Ms. Rowling for her dedication to reaching out to all her fans.