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I am looking for a single word to describe something that should have been done from the beginning to describe the highlighted situation below:

Accessibility remediation after the fact is harder. Accessibility should be considered from the start as part of the design.

I know the following is not what I want, but I would like to have a sentence similar to: "Accessibility should be a first-principles consideration."

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    Check out synonyms for prerequisite. If you want to go really upmarket and impress your work colleagues, consider ...should be a sine qua non. – FumbleFingers Feb 20 at 15:04
  • Another option is central...at the core, important throughout the process, not just at the beginning. – KannE Feb 20 at 20:15
  • Why do you want a single word, when it's more effective to spell it out? – Hot Licks Feb 21 at 0:39
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A more colloquial term would be "baked in" - indicating something that must be there from the start. (You can't bake a cake, and then add an egg to the batter. The eggs are baked in, or they aren't there; it's impossible to add one after the fact.)

An antonym is "tacked on", suggesting something that is added later but not integral to the design. (Hey.. for that matter, "integral" is a good word too.)

Software should be written with security baked in; it's very difficult to retrofit.

or

Accessibility should be baked in to the design, not tacked on as an afterthought.

Another possibility is "foundational" -- suggesting something that is actually part of the foundation. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/foundational

Security is foundational to good software

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  • I like "baked in" as it conveys the idea that something should be there from the start. To me, the other suggestions such as "foundational" or "fundamental" convey the idea of importance but not necessarily the idea of "being there from the start". The sentence "accessibility should be a baked-in consideration" make sense, although it seems to read a little awkward. – Kavka Feb 20 at 22:31
  • I agree "accessibility should be a baked-in consideration" is awkwardly phrased. I would simply say "Accessibility should be baked in," rather than "a baked in consideration" – Stephen R Feb 20 at 22:35
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Fundamental might be one candidate. Referring to the foundations it indicates that anything built upon a shaky start could have bad consequences.

See for example the dictionary entry here. An example sentence might be "When casting a bell, the correct preparation of the mould is of fundamental importance. If the mould is incorrect, the cast bell will not have the correct sound."

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  • This could be a good answer, but would need dictionary corroboration (a linked and attributed quote), including an example sentence if possible. The base sense applies to being an essential / core / foundational part of something, rather than a requirement. – Edwin Ashworth Feb 20 at 15:45
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Accessibility remediation after the fact is harder. Accessibility should be considered from the start as part of the design.

You could use a number of words here:

Accessibility remediation after the fact is harder. Accessibility is required as part of the design.
Accessibility remediation after the fact is harder. Accessibility is a critical part of the design.
Accessibility remediation after the fact is harder. Accessibility is paramount to the design.
Accessibility remediation after the fact is harder. Accessibility is a fundamental part of the design.
Accessibility remediation after the fact is harder. Accessibility is foundational as part of the design.

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I think the suggestions above are excellent, but since it is important that the accessibility be a part of the design, it really calls for an altered sentence structure.

Accessibility remediation after the fact is harder. Accessibility should be a design parameter from the start (or "at the conceptual stage").

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