Why is accessibility so important when it comes to design
People with disabilities can better navigate, process and interact with content when it’s accessible to them.
Some of the most common ways of doing this are by making content available in different formats such as large print, braille, or audio, allowing those with visual or hearing disabilities to more easily access your content.
But there are many other ways of utilising design to make content more accessible to more people.
Take a look at the article you’re reading right now.
We’ve chosen a dark font and a light-background so that the two are contrasted, making them easier to read.
When you’re designing a product for accessibility, you need to be aware of the needs of your end-user and aim for inclusivity.
“When speaking of disabilities, the blind and their needs are most often used as an example. It is deceivingly simplistic since accessibility is something most of the population can benefit from.” – Marcus Österberg
But how do you know what your users need if you don’t see things from their perspective?
It’s simple. You just need to view the product through their lens and identify what issues they may face.
If you want to make sure you’re definitely on the right track, just ask them.
Getting feedback from your target market will help to ensure that you’re producing a product that ticks all of their boxes.
So, what do you need to think about when designing your product?
Visual impairment i.e. colour-blindness, short-sightedness, and total blindness
Photosensitivity i.e. epilepsy
Hearing impairment i.e. partial or total deafness
You can make your product more accessible to many people by considering things like; font-type, font-size and font-colour.
For example, using colour to highlight a link or an important piece of information would not help a person who is colour-blind. Instead, consider also using symbols or making the text bold to draw attention.
When considering users with hearing loss, it’s best to include captions/transcripts with any video clips.
You also need to strongly consider the readability level of your target-user. Is the text too difficult for them to read and understand? Making it more accessible to wider reading abilities could involve re-writing your content to make it easier to process.
So, remember, the key to creating an accessible product is by utilising design to solve problems that a lot of people face. The more problems you can solve, the more people can access your product.
Are you looking to create more accessible versions of your products?
Ask us about our layouts for the visually impaired or how we can use different formats to make your product more accessible across different formats.
To discuss this any this or any of our other services you can contact us on (0191) 482 5042 or you can email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.