For most Web products, the term accessibility brings to mind section 508 compliance, screen readers, and Web standards. In our continually expanding digital product ecosystem, however, accessibility can be thought of as a connectivity enabler as more products embrace multiple consumer access points.
For example, Rollyo a “personal search engine” generation tool, provides access points within the Web browser (via the Firefox toolbar), across the Web (via code snippets you can include on your site), through email, on the desktop (through widgets), and through their Web site.
Yahoo! just announced a set of products that allow consumers to access content and people on their TV, mobile device, and desktop. Yahoo! Go Desktop provides access points to Yahoo! Mail, Flickr, 360, Address Book, and Messenger. Yahoo! Go Mobile gets you to Mail, Messenger, Address Book, Photos, Moves, News, Sports, Finance, and Weather. Yahoo! Go TV has Music, Movies, Video Search, Flickr, and My Yahoo! access.
"We want to connect to the three screens of consumers' lives: the mobile phone you always have with you, the big screen (TV) and the PC screen you have in the office." - Yahoo seeks to bridge PC with phones and TV
Continuing the trend, Google announced access to its Web search product on Motorola phones, and a desktop software bundle designed to penetrate the Desktop. Microsoft, of course, did much of the same.
Product access points across multiple devices, applications, and media is likely to be a key consideration during the product design process. As a result, designers will need to determine which access points are most appropriate for each intended user experience.