Accessibility In Design: Best Practices

Design Research

Accessibility In Design: Best Practices

Accessibility and UX go hand-in-hand. Consideration of accessibility places a set of limitations on designers and spurs ideas that may lead to better-designed and user-friendly products for all users.

To make it easier for people with specific abilities to perceive, comprehend, navigate, or engage with digital products and platforms, the notion of accessibility in design was created.

This idea has grown over time to support businesses in developing digital experiences for a sizable user base, regardless of their existing situation. An effective design must be inclusive, that is, accessible to a broad range of people, in order to be effective.

This article will explore what exactly accessible design is all about, along with why it matters when it comes to UX. We’ll end the piece by highlighting some best practices you can employ.

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“When you designed for disability, you end it up Design for everyone”

What Is Accessibility In Design?

Accessibility in a design context refers to how many users can utilize the interface. Typically, this entails designing for individuals with a variety of disabilities, including those related to hearing, mobility, vision, cognitive ability, etc.

It is commonly acknowledged that the best method for designing for technology is user-centered design. "Focus on user outcomes" is IBM Design Thinking's first guiding concept. When we exclude accessible best practices, we fall short of this essential principle that underpins IBM Design. Having accessibility provides the best user experience.

According to the General Authority for Statistics in Saudi Arabia, nearly 2.9% of the population suffers from a disability. This makes the need for accessible designs in media urgent. Inclusive design must be incorporated into designers' approaches right away, regardless of where they are in their professions or studies.

Why Does Accessible Design Matter?

By keeping accessibility in mind while creating a product, we increase the likelihood that everyone will be able to use it effectively, regardless of ability, setting, or scenario. Users with both temporary and permanent visual, movement, speech, auditory, or cognitive impairments are included in this.

All of us are impacted by accessibility. Many different things, such as a damaged limb or a noisy atmosphere, can affect how we use a product. A classic example is using a high enough contrast to ensure that all readers can understand the material.

Accessible Design Best Practices Companies frequently define and design for their target audiences while developing new products. Human-centered design, however, can assist companies in taking into account a much more varied and expansive collection of users and, thus, a broader target market.

When it comes to designing for accessibility, you need to focus on design thinking and user empathy. This helps contribute to creating human-centric digital UX. Here is what you need to keep in mind:

  • Cognitive: easy to understand
  • Visual: easy to see
  • Auditory: easy to hear
  • Motor: easy to interact

with Knowing user behavior from each of the aforementioned perspectives is crucial when designing for accessibility. To do this, one effective method is to create empathy maps, which are a critical step in the Design Thinking process. An empathy mapping session is an effective way for teams working on the engineering and design of goods, services, or user experiences to "get inside the heads" of people.

Let's explore the following cornerstones of accessible design in digital: Heuristics And Usability Adding a navigation bar on your website can make a world of difference. It can be simpler for a visitor to browse through a website if the navigation bar is clear and uncomplicated. To make navigation easier for people who are blind or visually challenged, a speech capability must be included.

Next, you can improve upon the readability and usability of links. The majority of browsers portray links by default with blue text that is underlined. The main element for identifying the hyperlinked words or sentences is the difference between link text and regular text. Most color-blind people are unable to discriminate between different hues, although they can see the highlighted words. Many accessible websites have hyperlinked content that has been underlined, which is crucial for increasing accessibility.

Design And Interaction Look into using high-contrast colors in the background and foreground. If you combine this with readable typography with large font sizes, it could go a long way in helping users with cognitive issues distinguish the content. Moreover, you can also work towards ensuring all your images are marked with alt text. This allows visually impaired people to use screen readers to understand what the image is depicting. Adding animation elements such as carousels are also a good tool for making your site accessible. When doing this, it's important to give the users the option of controlling the slides. This includes highly visual slider templates that feature dot navigation and are touch-friendly.

Communication And Content Readers of mobile devices frequently utilize the pinch motion to enlarge text so that it is simpler to read on tiny screens. However, in order to have more command over the page layout, developers frequently block zoom, which causes a gratingly pervasive accessibility issue. Depending on the type of font being used, the ideal font size should be 16 pixels or greater. Users of some apps can also adjust the text size to suit their preferences. Additionally, for a user to contact a website, forms must be enabled on the site. But sometimes, people find it difficult to complete even the smallest forms. When filling out forms, people frequently make mistakes with the date formats. An input field's formatting shouldn't be a hassle for the user. Designers and developers must make sure that the user's input is automatically transformed into the required format in order to simplify such duties for the user.

Wrapping It Up:

It's common to make speculations about user preferences is common when designing user experiences. While we should challenge those presumptions and use research to better understand customer preferences, there are occasions when simply offering an alternate solution can have a significant impact. The significance of accessibility in this continual process cannot be overstated, particularly at this time when daily tasks are so heavily dependent on digital technology.