Extreme Design: Solve for Extremes to Create Better Designs for Everyone


Scheduled at 3:30pm in Westminster III on Wednesday, November 20 (2019).



  • Derek Featherstone, Chief Experience Officer, Level Access

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 1-hr
  • Format: Lecture
  • Expertise Level: Intermediate
  • Type of session: General Conference


When we project extreme needs on to a design problem, our solutions almost always end up making our interfaces much better for everyone. Use these hands-on design techniques to improve not only the accessibility of your interfaces, but also their much broader usability.


How can we be sure we’re designing the best experiences possible? It turns out that one of the most effective methods for achieving this rests firmly in the practice of inclusion. When we incorporate inclusion into our work, we create sustainable, repeatable methods for creating great experiences that work really well for people with disabilities AND results in better designs for everyone.

In this session, Derek will look at many practical ways of extremifying your designs -- stressing them in ways they haven’t been stressed before, by working with people with different disabilities and different needs -- to illuminate opportunities for innovation, efficiency, and excellence that lead to great designs for everyone.


  1. Learn 3 techniques to identify keyboard related issues earlier in the design process.
  2. Learn how to better design interfaces that work well for someone with low-vision
  3. Learn how to better account for the needs of people with memory, attention, and dexterity issues.

Disability Areas

All Areas

Topic Areas

Assistive Technology, Uncategorized

Speaker Bio(s)

Derek Featherstone

Derek brings 20 years of usability analysis and accessibility consulting and training experience to his work with teams around the world, helping to make digital products more accessible and easier to use, while consistently improving practices, processes, and cultures to be more inclusive.

As an internationally known speaker and authority on accessibility and inclusive design, Derek is focused on ensuring that accessibility and inclusion are seen as an integral part of user experience and service design, rather than as a simple checklist afterthought. He works directly with high-profile clients to ensure they are crafting and facilitating great user experiences for everyone, including people with disabilities.

As a former high school teacher, Derek brings his passion for education to the web industry, delivering technical training that is engaging, informative and immediately applicable. In addition, he is an internationally recognized speaker on the topics of accessibility and user experience, presenting at conferences and industry events throughout the U.S. and abroad.