Will works creatively in a diverse field of digital media. Formerly a commercial photographer and videographer, digital media lead the way into front-end website design and development and providing digital solutions to a worldwide client base. In 2008 Will transitioned into education as a Creative Digital Technologies teacher for adults with learning disabilities, then into higher secondary education as a lecturer in Interactive Design. Relocating to New Zealand in 2012, he tutored full-time for NMIT's Bachelor of Arts programme. In 2016 he joined eCampus NZ as a core developer and learning media designer; today he is the Lead User Experience Designer and Learning Media Developer for Open Polytechnic/ Te Pūkenga Enterprise Service Hub.
1 in 4 people in New Zealand is limited by a physical, sensory, learning, mental health or other impairment. Accessibility design for systems based in the online learning space requires a unique consideration for our ākonga. In this talk by Will Soward, Lead User Experience & Media Designer for Open Polytechnic/ Te Pūkenga, Enterprise Service Hub, the fundamental principles of designing for neurodiversity will be explored. Common components and elements such as buttons, animations, typography and colour are examined to support the neurological conditions of users in combination with user experience laws and principles. With over 12 years of working in the education sector (both UK and NZ) as a lecturer and learning media designer, Will presents his insight into value-added design for neurodiversity that can be applied to Web components and systems to support the success of learners with Dyslexia, ADHD, Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome, Vestibular Disorders and other learning differences. In the last 6 years of working as the UX design lead, Will illustrates his observations and evaluations supporting online learners in vocational and higher online education. The principles discussed can be applied widely to industries that deeply consider accessibility as an essential factor in their design systems and greatly support users with neurodiversity.