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Software Penguineer

At Medium, we’ve been working to improve our site’s accessibility so that it’s more usable for people with disabilities.

After performing an accessibility audit at the end of 2020, we’ve been tackling some of the most prevalent issues, with a focus on making navigation more accessible.

Below are a few of the major improvements we made to accessibility.

Dropdown menus are keyboard-accessible

We use the dropdown menus for settings-related navigations, such as user settings and story settings.

They were not reachable with the keyboard before, which means keyboard-only and screen-reader users couldn’t access them at all.

We’ve implemented a fix so that most of…


Medium 101

Create an equitable experience for readers with visual impairments

Images are a big part of Medium’s writing and reading experience. Well-chosen images can pique a reader’s interest or provide additional context to your story.

An important but often overlooked part of adding an image is writing alt-text for the image. Alt-text, short for “alternative text,” provides textual description for an image. Alt-text is read in place of images by screen readers, which are software programs that read the content on a phone or computer screen with a speech synthesizer or braille display.

Without alt-text, blind or visually impaired readers will not be able to understand these images, and they…


How we increased our email capacity by 3.8x

Screenshot of Medium Daily Digest

Introduction

The Medium digest is a daily email containing a personalized list of stories that’s scheduled to arrive between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. user’s local time. Timely delivery is important to us because we want our readers to start their days with the digest. Kind of like your morning newspaper!

We send millions of digests every day, and digest generation creates one of the heaviest loads on our resources. Making sure they continue to arrive on time as our reader base grows has been challenging. If there’s a bottleneck somewhere, digests are normally impacted first.

Our email infrastructure, built on…


Guide to finding the perfect jigsaw puzzle for you

Photo by Gabriel Crismariu on Unsplash

I’ve been doing more jigsaw puzzles this past year. They keep me away from my phone and computer and help me de-stress. I also love doing them with friends since we can all work on them together regardless of our backgrounds — everyone is capable of doing a puzzle!

As much fun as puzzles can be, the wrong puzzle can be more tedious than enjoyable or just plain boring. Since more people are getting into puzzles these days while under quarantine, I want to share four things to look for in a puzzle so you can find the right puzzle…


We hope you are staying safe out there during this crazy time. You’ll hear from us soon. Stay tuned!

Penny Shen

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