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    The Premier AT Conference

A Web of Anxiety: Towards a Less Stressful User Experience

Date & Time
Thursday, March 16, 2023 - 10:20 AM PST  
Platinum 5 (VISPERO)  
Awareness of the impact of online accessibility for people with anxiety and panic disorders has grown in recent years. High-pressure sales tactics and deceptive patterns have caught the attention of lawmakers, regulators, and researchers. Banks have introduced new measures to support vulnerable customers. Social media companies have recognized the impact of their services on users’ mental health. But has this made any difference? This presentation will provide an update on developments in understanding this often-overlooked aspect of web accessibility. It will explore aspects of user interface and user experience design that contribute to feelings of anxiety and panic. It will also examine whether the web is still as anxiety-inducing as ever, and highlight recent initiatives aimed at addressing anxiety-related issues. This presentation will also share recommendations on what we can do to improve the user experience for people with anxiety and panic disorders. These include raising awareness through education and training (and occasional naming-and-shaming), promoting conformance to existing and upcoming accessibility guidelines, as well as developing technological solutions to the most egregious examples of deceptive design. Acknowledging the difficulties in legislating against ever-evolving deceptive design patterns, this presentation will consider ways to encourage more ethical behavior from big businesses and promote a less stressful user experience on the web.  
  • Information & Communications Technology
  • Entertainment & Recreation
  • Finance & Banking
  • Legal
  • Marketing
Audience Level
Session Summary (Abstract)
Awareness of accessibility for people with anxiety disorders has grown in recent years. High-pressure sales tactics and deceptive patterns have caught lawmakers’ attention. But has it made a difference? Is the web any less stressful? Let’s find out!  
Primary Topic
Cognitive & Learning Disabilities  
Secondary Topics
  • Digital Accessibility
  • Law, Compliance, and Policy
  • Research
Session Type
General Track  


  • David Swallow

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