Episode 6: Beyond Compliance: Embedding Accessibility Into Your Organization

Welcome to the "UX Leadership by Design" podcast, hosted by Mark Baldino, Co-Founder of Fuzzy Math. In Episode 6, we have the pleasure of featuring Santiago Viteri, the Associate Director of UX and Digital Accessibility Standards of the UX Center of Excellence at Bristol-Myers Squibb.

Welcome to the UX Leadership by Design podcast, hosted by Mark Baldino, Co-Founder of Fuzzy Math. In Episode 6, we have the pleasure of featuring Santiago Viteri, the Associate Director of UX and Digital Accessibility Standards of the UX Center of Excellence at Bristol-Myers Squibb. Join us as Santiago shares his inspiring journey of helping shape a UX Center of Excellence within a large organization, emphasizing the significance of credibility and problem-solving through a user-focused approach. Discover the pivotal role he sees for digital accessibility and the “shift left” mentality in creating inclusive and user-friendly designs right from the start. Don’t miss this insightful conversation on UX, accessibility, and the art of design with a science-driven mindset. Gain valuable insights for building successful UX teams and fostering a culture of innovation.

Topics Covered

  1. Design Thinking for Healthcare
  2. Agile Approach for Digital Accessibility
  3. Product Development & UX Strategy
  4. Measuring UX Impact
  5. Accessibility Compliance
  6. Digital Accessibility
  7. Shift Left Mentality
  8. Inclusive Design
  9. Building Successful UX Teams

About Our Guest

Santiago is the Associate Director, UX & Digital Accessibility Standards at the User Experience Center of Excellence at Bristol-Myers Squibb

Resources & Links

Santiago on LinkedIn

IAAP Certified Professional in Accessibility Core Competencies (CPACC) credential

Google HEART framework

System Usability Scale (SUS)

Connect with Mark on LinkedIn

Fuzzy Math


Mark Baldino  0:00  
Hey, folks, welcome to UX Leadership by Design the podcast to buy in for UX design leaders. I'm your host, Mark Baldino. Podcast is and always will be brought to you by Fuzzy Math, the User Experience design consultancy that brings consumer grade UX to the enterprise. fuzzy math delivers award winning digital product design and partners with internal UX teams to augment, grow and scale their impact. Today, we are chatting with Santiago Viteri, who is the Associate Director and wanna make sure I get this right Associate Director of UX and Digital Accessibility Standards of the UX Center of Excellence at Bristol-Myers Squibb. And if it sounds like Santiago has a lot on his plate, that is true. During our chat, he gives a masterclass of how to grow and sort of scale and gain credibility for UX Center of Excellence and what the various like stages of the lifecycle are. And Santiagos was also passionate about digital accessibility, and integrating it into the product design process, and covers how he thinks we're really in kind of the nascent stages of what it means to deliver products that are products and services that are accessible. So super excited for you to listen. So let's go.

Mark Baldino 1:15
Santiago, welcome to the podcast. How are you?

Santiago Viteri  1:17  
Good, Mark, thank you for having me. 

Mark Baldino  1:19  
No, no, thank you for taking time out of your out of your busy schedule I'm sure to chat with me. I'm excited about our conversation. And I know the enjoy, the listeners are going to enjoy it but maybe give everybody a quick sense of kind of background, maybe how you got into UX and maybe your current role.

Santiago Viteri  1:38  
Sure. So hello, everyone, Santiago Viteri here. I lead a UX team at Bristol-Myers Squibb that pharmaceutical in the US. I ended up there, after completing my MBA. I was born and raised in Ecuador. I'm an industrial engineer by training. I started after I finished college, I started basically interacting with technologies since my first work. It was early 2000s, I think the internet was a sensation. And I was started with a bank in basically helping them develop their cash management solution. So at that point in time, there were not big IT teams, it was a couple of developers and architects and then what we'll call the support, right, so I was the product owner for the back office basically. So that gave me a good idea of how technology will influence processes. And it was basically on the ballpark because I was just getting my industry engineering degree. From there, I think I had a lot of experiences merging technology into processes. And that took gave me a possibility to go across Latin America, doing consultancy work doing that, right. I also got the opportunity to work for TCS, Tata Consulting Services. So I had, I would consider myself like a good background doing PM and very strategic work. Then I moved to the US. I completed my MBA. Bristol-Myers Squibb - I think I found them on a, on a career fair. I connect with them, they look at my resume. And they thought, I think they offer me this possibility of joining a development program with them. I joined them. I completed a development program for two years amazing experience, I'm very thankful for the company for that opportunity. Because I was new to Pharma. And through those two years, I learned the ins and outs of pharma right. And finally, after I have to transition, the company was basically at the point in time development, where it will be 2020 capabilities. So in 2015, the company started of saying, hey, what how we can position ourselves to be competitive in 2020. So at that point in time they set up a User Experience Center of Excellence, and I joined the team. And that's how my kind of full experience in UX started, right. I got certified by Nielsen Norman Group. And I'm currently getting a C Pack certification that is around digital accessibility.

Mark Baldino  4:14  
Okay, so what was the transfer? You did this development program, which is kind of a way for you to get what exposure through a bunch of different parts of the organization and background? And then how did you? How did you? How did you get connected to the COE? I get that they were doing sort of vision, far out roadmapping and they built this COE, but how did you like how did that connection personally have? So

Santiago Viteri  4:38  
Yeah, I was basically networking to see different roles in the organization. And I remember that point time Fit Confer who was leading the team, I connected with him and the way he pitched it to me and what he was the vision for this, draw a lot of my attention right. He was talking about a user centric approach. Be more research oriented, tried to kind of test things on the run, right, like building the plane as you fly potentially. I think that's the same here. And that caught my attention. And for all, it was the passion, right? I remember I, when I was interviewing the role, there's the I had a counterpart there Mukti Patel. And you can feel like these people were after something right. And I think we ended up creating something great. And it has transcend right? Now, we get into a new reorg. And basically, the UX function, got disbanded in to different, I would say verticals, okay. And the COE at the end ended up with me. And now I'm leading a team in the enterprise architecture and platforms team. So basically I'm now being able to influence our core capabilities that develop websites of portals.

Mark Baldino  5:50  
Is the COE still the horizontal? Or is it now verticalized in that area?

Santiago Viteri  5:55  
At this point is verticalized. But we are providing services across all the verticals. Because of the connections. 

Mark Baldino  6:02  
I'm so interested in that transition. So it was originally horizontal. And then as it got large, it needed to be more specialized, so it went into verticals? Like what was... because I talked to people about this clients all the time, like, should we have a more horizontal organization? Should we be vertically aligned, and it looks like there was a little bit of a transition at Bristol-Meyers.

Santiago Viteri  6:19  
It was a transition it was at the beginning was a horizontally, yep. And then we the see, the new CIO decided to create verticals. So basically, we specialize and move all the teams that are supported vertical, like commercialization under one scope. But with exposure, the connections, the toolkits that we have, we have maintained, I would say the current connections, and we are providing that vertical service.

Mark Baldino  6:46  
Got it. So the COE, sort of got established enough that it was able to, to then support the verticals as needed. But it didn't need to say at its current size, it's sort of like you guys systematized at that point.

Santiago Vieri 7:00
You put it in much better words than me.

Mark Baldino 7:04
No, no, no worries, you described it. I'm fascinated with those, those tweaks, because I think a lot of emerging, nascent UX teams are trying to get to that, to that point where they can support a lot of verticals, mostly from like a resource perspective, they don't have the resources to be vertically aligned. And so they're trying to get to that capability. But then there's this question of like, well, how much do we need do that? How long do we have to support that? How long can we? And it looks like you got to a point that once it was systematized enough, it could be broken down, and kind of you still maintain a thread of connection of UX, but it is more sort of vertically aligned.

Santiago Viteri  7:38  
Correct. I think the the key, the key to that equation that you have described, and Mark for me is getting the buy in, and also acquiring the confidence of your stakeholders, right? You show up as kind of somebody internal who's doing UX and design, and they tend to go out and hire big agencies to do the work for them, right? So you're knocking on the door, trying to get our foot in the door, and say, Hey, guys, we can do the same here, right. And potentially, it will be quicker, it will be BMS fight, right, that means it will kind of cutter what we tend to present as a company. And it will be in house, and that kind of know how those resources will stay with us. So at the beginning, we were very opportunistic, I think I got the opportunity to have a small team that I was able to kind of reach out to people understand their needs, and start creating what we call UX engagement. And after a couple of cycles and work that was delivered from opportunistic, and basically, we footing in the bill, then we change it to a mold that we're able to allocate resources, either UX researchers or designer student teams. And we charge back for that. And that has been a success. And we have been kind of that is the modus operandi. And I would say since two or three years ago, if I'm wrong.

Mark Baldino  8:54  
Okay, that process took two or three years?

Santiago Viteri  8:58  
No, the I would say the transition from free resources, or basically pro bono work, to it takes it took us one year, I would say. 

Mark Baldino  9:09  
Okay, okay. Yep. And so you're building credibility within the organization, you're putting the processes in place. Can you talk a little bit more about how you and the team went about, you know, sort of establishing credibility with folks, because it sounds like that was the tipping point to having people pay for your services internally. So everyone's clear, you're almost running an internal agency, right? Other departments are paying the UX team as opposed to a UX team giving their work for free. So you're getting other people's budget, as opposed to creating your own budget, and I'm getting that corrected. But the tipping point wasn't just we had the services and process in place it was we built enough credibility with stakeholders that they were Is it wrong to say they're willing to pay for our services? Like how did you correct me if I'm wrong there and how did you go about building that credibility?

Santiago Viteri  9:51  
No, you are on point there Mark describing journey, like to how we build the credibility I think it will be. I will attribute to three main things right. One is, we always try to measure, I think I'm an engineer. So I always have been trying to measure the overall user experience. And it's very complex, right? In the COE when they are creating, I would say UX measures based on the golf harp framework. I don't know you're familiar with it. But we use that to measure internal digital capabilities, in essence, our internal applications, right with that, we get a sense of how we were kind of providing user experience. And we use that kind of as a, as a, say, a launchpad to engage. Okay, we saw what we created is not doing so well, let's engage with them, right. And what we brought to the table, I think, was not just only a critique on the design, but we consider the user experience in a holistic way. So we brought the tickets, for example, that that application logged to that call center, where were the feedback for the customers, we're also bringing in feedback that we collected through surveys to support the growth by hovering work. We also have an intranet site, that we tend to upload a lot of information that you can get support from to so we get the metrics of how users are interacting with that. So I would say metrics was key and an enabler to get credibility. And on top of that, I think we follow the same thinking principle, the double diamond. Unfortunately, I would say at that point in time design thinking was kind of like the new kid on the block, everybody was using it. And it gets kind of saturated, and people stop using it. But I think for us was a success to keep doing, like, we establish a framework. And we keep repeating the same approach over and over until I think the stakeholders realize that it was not, I think it's a whole shift of mentality on them. Because I'm sorry that I'm a little all over the place here. 

Mark Baldino 11;46
No, No,But it's good. 

Santiago Viteri 11:47
To gain credibility, I would say first, usually what happens when you're designing some thing, right? On that current model, I'll say you have a product owner that comes back to a development team, right, that has designers, researchers on them, and said, hey, you know what, I have spoke with my business, I know exactly what we do. And at that point time, you start to gain the requirements, right? So you knock down the requirements. And yeah, you have the order ready? You go back? Bring researchers, right? Not not even researchers at that point, just being a designer, start mocking up the solution, right, come back to the product owner, show it give the thumbs up, you start developing. And at that point, you say, oh, we should test it, right? It's like, Yep, great. Let's bring users to test. That is a failure. Usually, those type of products, in my experience, meet the mark 50 percent of like, when I say 50% the features on those projects, or meet the mark 50 to 60 percent. They are there, but always you will hear the clients like something is missing, or I thought that it will do ABC. So what we show to them is that instead of just working on the solution space, like the Double Diamond, we have to work on the problem space. And they need to invest time in understanding what are the real problems, right? So that was a complete shift, because people come to us say, hey, we need to do usability testing on this. And we said, Okay, to put it together did you connect to any real end user? And the answer was no, like, Okay, what about any feedback that we have collected? Right? Instead of just jumping to usability testing, we're kind of going through what they currently have available. And the answer was no. So what we suggest because of the time effort between the usability testing and service, like, why do we don't just run a simple survey, and get that feedback and take it from there? What do you recommend? We usually recommend SaaS service does this course to baseline it. And then from there, it's like, potentially, we throw an open CSET feedback for me, if you work with me, you say, hey, let's get that data and try to put it on their face. Because there's where we go, we get what I call the golden nuggets, that's basically users telling you what's wrong and an opportunity. So that is basically what we send out. With that we say, hey, you know, you came to us showing these application and all these constraints, and we get feedback and they don't add up, they don't match right? I will suggest you that we conduct a you what we call a UX diagnostics. That is basically we focus on the first diamond of the two diamond approach say thinking and we work on the product on the problem space. So we understand usually the environment, we understand what the stakeholders think of the environment, when they put together a rules, the artifacts, then we talk to the end users, and finally, basically analyzing and creating sets. 

Mark Baldino 14:21
Got it. 

Santiago Vieri 14:22
So that is what we call a UX diagnostic. So that helped us pivot from this kind of, hey, you know, give me a designer, we have these these things that we want to create to, you know, let's have a conversation. People are willing to spend time to us helping understand the processes, the products, the UI is right, the overall user experience and take it from there. So it's either a feedback collect, I will tell you is they're getting metrics, right or getting some type of health check of what's going on. Making them aware that potentially some of their assumptions were right but you need to double test it and then executing the work. And key if you ask me is that usually when we conduct these UX engagements, we try to spend between six to eight weeks with them and no more. So everything is hot.

Mark Baldino  15:16  
Is it all problem focused those six to eight weeks or is that problem? 

Santiago Viteri  15:19  
No, it depends where they are, to be honest. If they have basically, if they come to us and say, Hey, I have this insight, and they show that they have done the research, and they need us to iterate and prototype, we are there to support them. And in those cases, I would say it varies depending on the size of the of the system that we are designing. But again, if you ask me, I will come to my team and say, Hey, we need to be out of here in eight weeks, right? Usually, that is kind of, like, okay, we'll have two and a half months to execute it. But then from there, we come to a time when that is constrained. And then what we do is basically, we engage at the beginning, we get all their wish lists that I said, and then after a couple, I would say a couple, two, three weeks, we come back to them and say, hey, we need to scope this out. Right? And then we start kind of making them aware that hey, this will take this and this was an assumption, this, like this, I wish this like this actually happened or, you know, we that will check with them. And from there, we then repackage the engagement. That again, Mark, time is of the essence, we tried to keep it short and sweet. So they see the results. Because the moment that we and this fascinating, right? We tend to, like bring our sponsors to some of the research sessions. So when they are basically either hearing back an interview, so they don't know who was kind of writing the answers. And they're kind of you see their eyes, right? Like, their eyes open, and they not they start feeling the value, right? So we do to keep them engaged, we start sourcing them, like little quote of what the research has come to us, we call we usually establish weekly checkpoints with them. And we surface up this information, right. And that gives you a lot of credibility to a point that it's like, yeah, you got it. After, I'd say the first three weeks that they saw us, like the methodology, I would say how the execution is on point that we basically, we don't just, I would say, have an open space say, yeah, let me take a look, we come to you with a with a scope with a timeline, and we try to execute on to that. And that will give us credibility for sure. Because just to wrap it up here, man, usually with design, you never know exactly, you can estimate how take, but you know, the devil's on the details, as you finish your mock ups like Oh, one more tweak. And one more tweak, you know, one more tweak, right. And then suddenly, things get fun. So we need, like, I asked my team to kind of pencils down at certain point, it always be an improvement, just do a parking, like a list of things that you can then come and pitch if you think could be refined. But we need to kind of timelines, yes.

Mark Baldino  18:00  
It gives the stakeholders constraints that they're going to kind of beholden to settle on their ideas, and then it actually makes planning easier, you know, people are only going to be engaged for a certain number of time. And it's like, from a process perspective makes a lot of sense. So that credibility is first and foremost, like gathering data and having the capabilities in place to gather those metrics, to measure the effectiveness output of the improvements to the user experience. And then a lot, you know, switching a mindset of stakeholders from being solution focused to problem focused, fantastic, that's great. 

Santiago Viteri  18:37  
Mark you are great synthesizer my friend.

Mark Baldino  18:39  
No, I just thought you talked a little bit of a masterclass in I don't know, five minutes on on, I think two great tenants that I think a lot of design teams frankly, skip. Honestly, it's an open question I have with with with folks is like, the metric side of it actually measuring the impact of our work seems like a really hard thing for a lot of groups to get established. But if but if we want to have designers want to have a seat at the quote unquote, table, and they want to be reporting into the C suite, all of those folks, most organizations are making their decisions based on metrics. They're reporting out to their teams on a quarterly basis or the street or to board members, you know, investors on a quarterly basis, and you mentioned CSAT, and SaaS, like if you can have this level of user satisfaction, you've put X amount of dollars of your budget into the UX team and it drove improvements in you know, these areas. To me, it seems very logical, but it seems like it's such a hard thing to get started. Is is BMS, an analytical company like was that just part of the culture so it was easy? Did you on a UX team have to like fight for the data side of the world, like and I know you said, You come from an engineering background, so it was part of your kind of how you approach things, but do you have to push really hard for it? How did you get that? I guess, how did you get that wheel started? I think a lot People are struggling to get the the measurement wheel started.

Santiago Viteri  20:04  
This is really good question Mark, I would say is because of the ecosystem that we live inside the IT organization, right. And that was something that for me was like an eye opener when I started my career, right? I was an industrial engineer and then sell yourself technology be kind of the engine. And for me that kind of pick up a lot of curiosity, and I would say a passion to it, because through technology, I was you were able to solve any type of problem, right? It was human effort plus technology, and you will be there. In these IT organization, usually, you have a lot of engineers, right? And I think one of the motors, what do you cannot measure you cannot improve. So establishing metrics, assessing the sign was key. And you see how designers and basic brother are pushing back because like, Hey, is a we usually get like how many users answer the survey, this type of questions challenging the data, right? But we keep kind of, hey, the numbers don't lie, these are the feedback. And for me, the overall score was just an indicator or trend. Again, I was pointing them to the information that the users provide to us. You see so how, coming to the message that, hey, let's hear what the user had to say. Let's work on that. And then use this number as a reference not as to kind of judge you if it was good or bad, but it's something that could improve always right. I would say get gave the adoption, but then also you get questions on the road, like, okay, it's user experience or design is very subjective, right? How you how you see that is happening. So do some efforts that we're doing trying to improve risk minimization strategies, that's for kind of severe side effects of drugs, I have gotten in touch into cognitive load. So if you ask me, it's like, hey, what it will be like a good design that will say it has to be simple and intuitive. So it's like, what it means like you some good guests principles, and then the users have to come to your design and try to use the less cognitive load, or a mode of conduct of possible to try to achieve what it's meant to be done. And I was kind of we were piloting some type which survey we use to measure it, right? And that if we reconnect my old tell you how that goes, because I think that is the next I like where we are tapping because we need to ensure that in this case, information that we're providing to a patient is they can consume it. Right? And usually, you see, yeah, it has to be at I think it's a fourth grade level. But lecture but what exactly that means, right? And after that, my if you ask me, What is my overall kind of goal is to after you consume this, what you can do next, right. So that next is something that I haven't seen the solution yet. But that is basically you see how the first user experience to consume information and then is execute something. So I, my team, we have been kind of getting together to see how we establish some metrics here. And yeah.

Mark Baldino  23:10  
That's great. I would love to connect further. At the end, I'll give you an opportunity to, you know, list out where people can find you and hopefully can follow along in that story, as you guys tie that thread, not just of gathering data, providing information, but how you're enabling decision making, specifically, specifically with patients. I do want to switch slightly topics. Because I noticed in perusing your LinkedIn profile, you've been with a COE for a number of years, but I think in maybe seven or eight months ago, something new got added to your title, which was accessibility, and you mentioned a certification that you're in the process of getting was that addition of accessibility? personal interest on you that you wanted to tackle? Was it something that that Bristol-Myers is like really advocating for? Is it just the general environment we're in? Because I don't, frankly, don't I sometimes see accessibility experts, but maybe not the threat of like I you know, UX, lead and accessibility as kind of a focus and I take titles in big organizations, sometimes they there it's like, you know, UX designer, one or two, but but when you're, you know, kind of at the level you are, it means something important to the business as they have accessibility in that title. So I'm kind of curious if you can talk us through that change what what it means what's the importance of accessibility and tech in general, but also specifically your work in healthcare so it's got an additive significance.

Santiago Viteri  24:33  
Oh, like, Mark, I would say, Well, let me structure my answer, because I will be a little all over the place. But first and foremost, I like BM have what we call core core behaviors. Inclusion is one of them. I am very grateful of the company. I like I pretty sure most of you on a large company, what you have, what would they call them employee affinity groups we call people and business resources. That is basically groups for people who want to know, like, who identify themselves as Latinos or Blacks or Asian, you know. So BMS, we have, I think six or seven of them. And I have been, since I joined the company, I was a member of what they call all the organization for Latino achievement, right. And always bringing awareness in STEM programs for Latinos in central New Jersey colleges, we have a program that connects us. And basically we are role models to them. And we come to schools, and short stories in Spanish or in English with students and parents, I think there are between ninth and 11th grade, they are making their decisions for high school or college, right. So we try to influence that and try to orient them to stem. That outside that role expose me to the other PBRGS. And we have another one that's called done that is focused on people with disabilities who have been done some work in inclusion. But then what happened is that on 2019, or 2020, one of what we call direct to consumer websites, those are the ones who support our marketing products got into a lawsuit. And basically, the complaint was that the user, in this case, somebody with assistive tools, was not able to consume information there, right. And we said, get into a settlement. But through the timeline, we get to kind of the need of audit the website and bring the compliant to WCAG 2.1, double A standards. At that point in time, to be honest, we were like the CEA was established. And we define user experience or recall as a combination between usability and branding, right? I think we were there. Because you, if you go back to BMS, we were updating our brand. So it was a good moment to kind of see, hey, the brand team came, we connect with them, we offer to be brand ambassadors, because we were always in tracking internal teams that were going to get our portals or applications so we can influence them to adopt the brand. Now, my CIO, at that point in time, came back to my VP and said, Hey, we need to fix this and prevent this happens again. Right. And that sent me in a journey. Basically, the VP turns back and hands it over to me. And basically, it was kind of something that I, if you ask me at that point in time, accessibility was potentially color contrast, like things that, yeah, and nothing like that, and nothing else, right. And we decided, without having too much kind of insight, we said, okay, accessibility should be part of the equation. It's part of how people interact. So let's first define what is user experience for us. So if you come and talk to me, I would say user experience the combination between usability and learnability, the classic kind of UX, things, branding and accessibility. So we basically make those bring those three elements into kind of creating a good user experience. And then the change in the landscape. I think, after COVID, the DOJ changed the focus on enforcement. They created I think, they called a task force to go after, kind of, at this point, I'm around, they're working with online universities and COVID Clean sites, right, but they're checking their accessories because through COVID, as you can imagine, with the lockdowns, there's a lot of people with disability that cannot go to the pharmacy or to regular place to get their services. They tried to go online, and they fail miserably, right. And I would say, web accessibility is in the like, their beginnings. It has been for a while. There's even rules here in the US in section 508, that if you do work for the government, you have to have your site accessible, but it's not a big purchase, right? It's not something that if you go and open most of the websites, you will find some issues while you try to go through them with a screen reader. Basically, that is kind of the main assistive tool with people with disabilities, right. So from there, what happened is, we decided that we need, there was a risk, we need to mitigate it. And my company, we basically set up controls. And those controls need a process owner, so I'm fulfilling in that role. And therefore the change, like I would say, the inclusion of digital accessibility in the title. We were thinking to put something along inclusion, but it was it will be kind of a very, very long title. And we want to make an evident that is around digital accessibility. And from there, what we did, Mark is basically we reach out, we bring a vendor to help us conduct an audit the vendor, give us the audit, and we say, Hey, do you have experience kind of setting things up? So we prevent this? And they say, yeah, so we started working with them. And I recall that at some point in time, I'd say after, we were with them working, I think we worked for months, but the second month, the solution that they were bringing to us was very reactive. They basically were saying hey on your development cycle at the end, you put it like a check here, you check for digital accessibility, you find the issues, and you ship back to the themes, right? And they will have to fix it. It didn't make sense to me. Because when I was reading, I realized that there were issues with this, that accessibility, they were not in the development space, but they need to be like, troubleshoot on the design space, right? Color color, color combinations, or color palette combinations that are rendered inaccessible text or kind of patterns on the screen. So you see how this kind of, of kind of, I'd say very reactive model didn't work. So I started reading, I stumbled up from the cube, actually, we I would say, I'm thankful that we stumbled upon them. I don't know if you're familiar with them. But what was that? What group was the cue? Okay, like their queen, and not from the US. But a lot of people told me that like, Oh, they're Queens like, no, no, the queue, the queue you eat, they are the ones who support active tools, that is an accessibility scan, I think if you talk to somebody, they will quote it, they will say, Oh, we use a with a or active tool. So they are the ones only happens tools. When we work. Like I engage them, I read this book that I think was published by their CTO, it was basically like, I would say, I don't recall the title. But it's things like agile, agile approach for digital activity, something along those lines. But basically, what they were preaching was what I call a shift left approach. That was, yeah, you in order to enable accessibility, you just not need to get a paycheck at the end check in, but you need to ensure that all the people that is putting together that solution, or their capability or the platform, ensure that in each step, they account for digital accessibility, right. So for example, a website usually have the content, you have images, you have other resources, like PDFs, multimedia, so if you decided that it needs to be accessible, the website needs to be accessible, but the artifacts on it like PDFs, multimedia, needs to be accessible. So it's not only given know how an awareness of digital accessibility to the development teams, but also to the other stakeholders are putting together that content for them. So you see how suddenly, in order to really get accessible solutions, you need to go at the beginning of this right, even shifting more left and to the procurement organization said, hey, when we procure the services, we need to ensure that the company have skills on that, or the platform that we bring in, have a out of the box components that are accessible, right, so you see how you finally are shifting left. So that has been the journey that we have embarked? And again, to answer your question, so that was kind of quite a quite a story there, for me is passion. Like I think inclusion. I'm not from here. Like I'm an immigrant. And it was, I would say not completely easy to get into the outside working environment. And I have a lot of help. And it was helped that I think allowed me to be successful. So I'm trying to give it back. And with digital accessibility and the stories that you hear and then when you start interacting with disabilities and the effort that they bring the like, their authenticity, how they want to be, they're all self right. And try not to get support by anybody but troubleshooting stuff like that. He'll fashion my friend. And that's something that I I kind of I have, if you ask me, I It has been two years that I have really been learning digital accessibility. Not Yeah, it has a lot of a lot of nuances, a lot of basically, HTML code area code. But beyond that, then you really want to shift left. And then when you're designing you can be changed completely your optics, right? It's like, Oh, my God. One of the themes, if you don't mind, I can leave here is when you want to make accessible solutions, try to convey the information in two ways. Right? And usually, we do a terrific job on multimedia, we tend to put captioning in them even audio description or there's a transcript available. I don't know if you live in live teams, but things have now live captioning or you have the transcript. No. But usually we I would say we fall short in terms of charts and graphics, right? Think of people going blind, we use a lot of color to convey values, right on our charts on our graphs. And that is not accessible, right? So as a designer, you need to kind of figure out how to make them accessible, right? And how these beautiful elements that have colors, and then nice legend or like they need to kind of be, I would say, thrown away and brought something that i i would say it's not so appealing to your eyes. because he has more things there. But at the end, if you think of the experience, you are enabling people to consume that, right, so your artifact will be fulfilling their purpose. Right, with this extra, I would say the design was you will say it's a lot more saturated, but is needed.

Mark Baldino  35:15
Yep. Fantastic. Well, it's wonderful to hear your journey and where it's taking you now. And what I would maybe say is like, a new passion for accessibility is really incredible. I like the idea of, of people shifting left, left, left, and not just thinking, there's a code scan, we need to do with the end of this to make sure a screen reader couldn't get through it. But it's, it is a mentality change within organizations. It's a process change, it starts at the very beginning. And, you know, people say, researchers in a phase research something should do the entire way, I think you can make the same analogy to say like, accessibility isn't just a phase or a checkbox, hey, we're gonna do visual, you know, check to make sure contrast ratios on and we're gonna do a tech check at the end with code, but that it should be a mentality. That's that's sort of enabled and part of your process throughout.

Santiago Viteri  36:01
Correct. I think I wasn't aware, we know that was accessibility is not a checklist. And that was very real. And that is something that I would say, based on my journey, that's something that you have de-mystify, right? Because the moment you come to somebody in it usually in the development phase, Oh, yeah. Give me a checklist what I need to fulfill, right, give me your guidance. Like, yeah, I can give it to you. But then you like here, you need to make an extra effort to understand what is that user experience that you want to convey? Right? Because we have found websites that is basically print and feel, usually you have stumbled upon the resource at print and field, right? And I recommend Xander was like, this is not inclusive at all, like, oh, yeah, you're right. And we went into rabbit hole of trying to fix that PDF, I recall, like, hey, it needs to be accessible, you know, like, down to the down to the task, without just, you know, follow our scene, I would say, mantra as it is understand the real problem here and then jump into solution, we jumped right away to solution. Recall the first time like, hey, we need to remediate PDF. And PDF remediation is a madness. I don't know, like Mark had been exposed. But a while is one of the I would say one of the biggest efforts. Like it's more complicated that Remita website, I'd say a simple website is not transactional. It's much more complicated. So I would say we spent easily, like three weeks effort over resource there, right, just remediating to then realize that, oh, the call out in the website needs to change. And we need to say, like, download and fill and upload again, you know, those little tweaks, and that is this whole shift left mentality and a lot of awareness mark, a lot of awareness.

Mark Baldino  37:42
Right, the checklist wouldn't have got you there. No, I don't, we would have passed that checklist. It will you

Santiago Viteri  37:47
will pass the checklist with kind of high scores, but then you will, you'll put it on production, the patient will come as like, there's like, Okay. I don't know, like, I use my, my keyboard. I don't like I am not excited, I cannot kind of right. Right. So. And that Mark, just to wrap it up, I think is something that I will leave here for designers and themes like awareness. That is I think everybody's a designer, I will usually start commissioners like that when my stakeholders say, hey, yeah, the moment that you wake up, you go to your closet, you pick your clothes, you're designing for yourself, right, you're designing how you will look like people who had figured it out. I don't know if you have read it. But I think angsting was the one who has like one color or already like the same suit every time. So he doesn't have to invest energy on that. But you see how you're investing in Germany in an effort to kind of be considered core, so everybody's on the same. And also, nowadays, solar has make design, I would say universal, right? You come to any type of solar, and you can drag and drop things, and you can put together a UI, right? I have an opportunity to work with very smart people that come to us and say, hey, I can code it for you. I can do it for you. Right? Like, yeah, but there's that's why people go to college or to get educated because design is a science. For me. It's an art. It's an art with the science, right? And therefore, you need to be able to not only present the UI, but explain why you make certain design choices, right and articulate them some out what I tell my team fancy words that will give you credibility, right, so I point them to cash principles. I am a big fan of Jabberwocky. I don't know if you have read the laws of UX. We have their cards every time we need to kind of I would say you know you need to sell the car, go get a couple of cards, find the ones that apply to you go and patients that claim right? Therefore there is not like somebody saying hey, yeah, this looks nice, you know, and they didn't take too much time. But you can say they didn't took too much time because we use guests as principals to bring the information closer we put that CTA next to their line of sight. So you know, you just don't you need to walk them through your design decisions, with some out Say criteria that gives you credibility.

Mark Baldino  40:02
Yeah. Well, fantastic. I think it's a good thread or tie into where we started around establishing credibility, appreciate you walk us through the journey of the COE and your personal journey into your new passion. Well, now two years ago, not that new but renewed passion in sort of accessibility, and then that sense of, of how designers need to, to communicate their designs. It's not just about the designs, how you communicate it, and sort of establishing credibility. So I really appreciate it. The listeners are going to really appreciate your your journey and thoughts as I said, in the middle there to give a little masterclass on on how to organize a cog within within and get success within a sea of a cog within a large organization. People want to find you LinkedIn, Twitter, any any URLs people can hit. Oh, yeah,

Santiago Viteri 40:47
I look into I'm not breaking Twitter, I'd say not big on social media. I need to pick up my game, I think on LinkedIn, but you can find me on LinkedIn, my first name and last name, it's where you can find me. Probably my pictures there. So yeah, feel free to reach out. And then I think we I can give you my Gmail, that's a we can put it on Yeah,

Mark Baldino  41:07
I can put it in when we post put your link to your to your LinkedIn and and your email address. If people want to reach out appreciate you, including that information.

Santiago Viteri 41:16
Oh, definitely my friend. Glad to connect.

Mark Baldino  41:19
Thank you so much for your time and ideas and sharing your process and thoughts. I really appreciate it. Your passion for design and accessibility comes out so much. Appreciate it.

Santiago Viteri 41:28
Thank you for the opportunity mark. Looking forward to connect again, see how that little experiment worked out. I think for the designers, researchers out there guys, try always to be inquisitive. Try, always be tentative to bring something new to the game. That is I think our role as researcher or designers try to test test things out. Don't lose that even if you don't get buy in, but just keep coming back until you will get buy in and if you find the right people, try to use them as your poster child for good work and then use them to kind of elevate you elevate the message and improve I would say the user experience because that is our job here right to ensure that everybody could have the same experience when they interact with our products or what we have created.

Mark Baldino 42:15
Fantastic. Thanks for ending on a on a little bit more advice for for our listeners. It's much appreciated.

Santiago Viteri  42:17
Thank you, Mark. All right. Take care. You too. Have a great day guys.
envelope mail-envelope-closed file_pdf arrow-up chevron-left arrow-left close x linkedin twitter facebook mailbox search
Work with Fuzzy Math
Small teams of passionate people working towards a shared vision.