Embracing Accessibility is Product Management

Jonas Klink is vice president of product and UX design for Thrive Market.


He likes to make an impact. And with product stints at Google, eBay, and Walmart, he’s had ample opportunity to infuse his passion for accessibility into some of the world’s best-known companies. Now, as vice president of product and UX design for Thrive Market, an e-commerce retailer offering natural and organic food products, he is bringing that passion to a purpose-driven organization, magnifying its impact.

“Accessibility is oftentimes right there on the cusp and struggling to be heard and struggling to be included, and I think that is the single biggest challenge,” Jonas says. “You should not underestimate making the case and making a passionate plea for accessibility because I think, at the end of the day, people are fundamentally good."

“What I’m advocating for here is a combination of a human approach, where you don’t lose sight of this being the right thing to do … but then that you really look at this as a problem with scale. How do we ensure that accessibility becomes part of the regular working process for every single person within the company?”

He says the most important way to answer that question is to start by understanding that accessibility is a journey — one he breaks down into a three-step framework that puts accessibility at the core of a product:

  1. Get your product to a functional place based on Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). Make sure it works, and there are no glaring issues.
  2. Make your product pleasant to use. “Let’s really think about how we make this a great experience for someone who’s relying on these types of tools, like screen readers and other things.”
  3. Determine how you can be a thought leader and innovator in your space. How can you really make a difference in this community?

In addition to his step-by-step guidance for infusing accessibility into products and companies, Jonas also talks about the craft of product management and how to ensure mission and vision are always front and center on this episode of This Is Product Management.

Download the transcript:


Here are some highlights: 

  • How accessibility gets started within a company
  • A framework for approaching accessibility
  • Three steps for establishing accessibility
  • Using a true North Star
  • Defining “product vision”

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