Why and How to Design for Accessibility?
In our day-to-day life most of the time, without realizing it, we dependent on tech products for simple tasks such as:
setting the alarm
searching for directions to find the shortest route
sending an email
making money transactions via apps
It is for all of the above reasons and many more that as designers we must always focus on creating inclusive, accessible products destined to work efficiently in all possible scenarios, and most importantly, useful for all types of users beyond their physical capabilities, cognitive, technical or device they are using (this includes cell phones and out-dated computers)
What is Accessibility?
You’ve heard of this many times, but what is it? It is about creating accessible and useful products for all types of users, even those with disabilities. Designing with this objective as the central premise not only makes our product inclusive but also allows our apps or websites to be more user friendly, which in result becomes inclusive of everyone.
To fully understand what accessibility is all about, we must first know what types of limitations a user may have:
Visual Impairment: Differentiate colors to total blindness
Hearing Impairments: Different levels of loss of hearing
Motion: Limitation in movement
Cognitive issues: Dyslexia and other issues associated with memory, attention, and various mental processes.
Why is designing for accessibility important?
To get a better idea, let’s look at numbers:
There are 4.39 billion internet users in 2019, an increase of 366 million (9 percent) versus January 2018.
According to the WHO, more than 100 million people suffer from some type of disability; this is equivalent to around 15% of the world population, a figure that is growing due to the aging of the population and the increase in chronic diseases worldwide. (source: http://origin.who.int/features/factfiles/disability/en/)
Keeping the above data in mind, let’s imagine, if only a portion of our population using the Internet in their daily life, it is an essential advantage to have inclusive websites and digital products that facilitate user interaction by offering valuable experiences through visual interfaces designed to help meet everyone’s needs.
Still, need convincing on why should we design for accessibility?
Designed to be easy to use and accessible in all settings, including out-dated devices and accommodating erratic or slow internet connections.
One of the main objectives of the UX is to offer valuable experiences to users; this translates into usability.
Inclusivity regardless of their disability
Following accessibility standards could improve the SEO of your web product.
Tips when designing for users with disabilities:
Designing for hard-of-hearing users:
Designing for users with physical or motion issues:
Designing for users of screen readers:
Designing for users with low color visibility:
Designing for users with dyslexia:
How are accessibility standards defined?
World Wide Web Consortium:
The W3C is committed to implementing uniform technologies to help with inclusivity. They set statandards for web design and development in the creation of products, regardless of hardware, software, language, culture, geographic location, or physical or mental capacity.
(Quick reference guide: Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0)
Want to know if your website is in-check with accessibility?
Here are some tools you can use to improve your website experience and to do accessibility tests.
Accessibility Developer Tools by Google
YouTube Closed Captioning
Photosensitive Epilepsy Analysis Tool
Want to create an accessible digital product?
Venturit can help you integrate the accessibility experience to your project. We have over 10 years of experience in building quality applications and a world-class team that will take your project to the next level.
By implementing a proven software delivery process that optimizes speed and quality control, we’re able to build products that are dynamic and accessible while fulfilling the requirements presented by our clients.
Inclusivity is crucial and essential in product building and sustainability. The more accommodating we are of everyone’s needs, the better, this would make your product limitless, and the potential for growth is endless.