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July 9, 2020

The digital product design community has improved and enhanced its usual standards so that platforms are accessible and enjoyable for all users, including those with disabilities or conditions. Inclusive and accessible design is a popular trend that should no longer be an after thought. It’s been recognized by the industry that over a billion people struggle with some type of disability, which is why it’s pressing that this is a priority.

Keep reading to learn more about accessible and inclusive design and why it’s a crucial pursuit for your business!

Accessible Design

When designing on digital platforms, each business has to remember this simple fact: you are not your target audience. This popular UX mantra is a staple for several businesses and designers as they’re reminded to create accessible interfaces that are user-friendly for their audience(s).

Since several individuals are living with a disability, it’s crucial that accessible design is a necessity in every creators mind. When creating digital platforms, consider Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). This way, you follow Apple and Google recommendations to ensure that your web design is suitable for all audiences, avoiding any type of discrimination some face when utilizing digital platforms. 

Inclusive Design

Accessible design is considered more of a checklist detailing design standards, whereas inclusive design is more about the mindset you have when creating. Inclusive design requires a creator to be more thoughtful of diverse groups and their environments.

Design inclusivity means that you have to consider small details that adhere to different preferences of the group(s) you’re targeting. Not everyone can understand your platform the same way, so it’s beneficial for businesses and consumers to make their designs as user-friendly and sophisticated as possible.

Many consumers may not need or want the product or service you offer, however, you’ll want to be certain that they can easily access you.

Elements of Accessibility

Although implementing product accessibility seems like an overwhelming task, once you get started on developing your platform, you’ll find that the process is easier than you think! Some simple things you can do to make your web or app design more approachable include:

  • Utilize alternative text for non-text content
  • Have resizable images
  • Have the option for captions or sign language where audio is crucial
  • Insert audio descriptions on multimedia content with significant visuals
  • Choose large fonts
  • Allow touchscreen, keyboard and voice navigation
  • Optimize menus to provide alternate ways of navigation
  • Include adjustable audio control
  • Make the design available in alternate languages
  • & Much more!

Even the smallest efforts will create a significantly better experience for all your audiences.

The Benefit of Making Accessible Design a First Priority

When you start by creating your website without considering accessible design, then you’re not only losing out on potential customers, but you’re also making it harder for yourself in the long-term if you decide to add it later on. Avoid the process of re-doing your code and just consider accessibility from the start of creation.

When you make accessibility a priority, you’ll have less frustrations and bugs to deal with. Plus, once you have gained practice implementing accessible design, it will be easier to implement this on other projects.

It takes a significantly longer time to fix code than to be more thoughtful of your audience from the start of the design process. Also, when you consider your budget, just think of how long it will take to rewrite large sections of your codebase!

Where to Include Accessibility in the Entire Development Cycle

Here’s how you can implement accessibility features throughout the process of development:

  • Conduct Customer Research:

    Individuals with impairment know what you can do to help improve the quality of their experience using your platform

  • Roadmap for Accessibility:

    When making a drastic change on your website, add more layers of accessibility. Including a roadmap for accessibility will place you in a better legal position if sued over inaccessibility.

  • When reviewing design, review accessibility:

    It’s common for designers to unintentionally add new obstacles for users with impairment. Now that accessibility is at the forefront of your process, it will be easier to make each design as approachable as possible.

  • Accessibility Testing:

    Conduct accessibility tests! Some examples include: using screed readers, high contrast mode, and keyboard navigation.

  • Beta Testers:

    When testing your product for accessibility, ask for assistance from a group with various disabilities to get more informed feedback.

Better Accessibility = Better SEO

If you’re seeking ways to rank higher on search engines, then accessibility is a great place to start! Alternative texts, resizable images, subtitles and all other aspects will make the site more user-friendly and easy to navigate.

Creating a better user experience will not only assist visitors with disabilities, but it will also create an overall better experience for any person on your site.

How it Will Benefit People with Temporary or Situational Impairments

Temporary Impairments: Those who break an arm or leg and are temporarily disabled from performing regular tasks.

An example of how accessible design will help a temporarily impaired audience is when they can’t use their hands to type and there’s an option for voice access browsing.

Situational Impairments: This can happen to anyone, especially when considering the environment they’re in.

An example of how accessible design will help in situational impairments is when a visitor is in a very loud place and cant hear the content on your website, you might lose a potential customer. However, if you add an option for subtitles, it will create an overall better experience.

Legal Ramifications

Individuals are far more aware of their rights, which is why they desire equal treatment. So if you’re not ready to consider accessibility, you may face legal action since the visitor can’t experience your platform just as anyone else would. It’s standard for all electronic and information technology to be accessible to those who live with disabilities.

Contact UV Designs

Remain a well-regarded, socially responsible reputation with the simple step of implementing accessible design across your digital platforms! Stay tuned for more tips on our next blog.

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