How Can We Make Our Digital Products More Accessible?

How Can We Make Our Digital Products More Accessible?

Designers of user interfaces (UX) and user experience (UI) strive to make their work accessible to as wide an audience as possible while also including the unique characteristics of each user. Because we approach design from our own perspective as human beings, this is often a difficult task. In order to create an accessible design, one must take into account a wide range of people's differing beliefs and values. On the other hand, human diversity is a source of inspiration for inclusive design. Not only are interfaces and technologies included. If you're looking for an effective way as a designer to learn how to make the best choices in the future, this is a must-have.

What's better, inclusive or universal design?

To further grasp what inclusive design is, let's first define what universal design is. In contrast to inclusive design, the universal design strives for a single shared experience that is accessible to many receivers. It focuses on the solution that does not require any modifications or revisions during the design process. In opposition to this approach, the inclusive design considers and embraces a variety of design possibilities. There are several inclusive design concepts and recommendations that might assist to make your web or mobile design more accessible. It seeks to build goods for a very specific target population, such as persons with temporary or permanent impairments, such as those who are deaf or have arm injuries. You must follow specific accessibility rules and focus on your inclusive design approach. To improve your interactions with your audience, establish a really inclusive environment for them to interact with your digital product design.

Begin by acknowledging exclusion

There is no such thing as "normalcy". We construct links between people and technology based on our senses, actions, or beliefs. However, we frequently make the error of assuming that these senses always operate for everyone and in the same way. Unfortunately, it fosters a climate of exclusion and ignorance. What we should do is shift our perception that everyone is the same by meeting people with diverse talents, impairments, characteristics, looks, and personalities.  Following that, we should attempt to adapt our design to as many various views as feasible.

Our duty is to incorporate and reduce the gap between individuals and their surroundings, situations, and society as a whole. We should also be conscious of how our design affects these encounters and hold ourselves accountable for it. Exclusion points provide us with new views and ideas. Let us view them as possibilities rather than challenges.

Digital products for everyone

The first stage in the design process is a deeper understanding of your target consumers and their communities, requirements, and difficulties. Creating approachable experiences for individuals with varied life backgrounds isn’t a simple undertaking at all since you’re never able to genuinely understand what somebody’s going through unless you go in their shoes. The only thing we can do in this situation relies on compassion and understanding, as well as talking to and trusting members of the marginalized group who are also members of your target market. In an ideal world, a product created using this method would allow people to interact with it in a variety of ways. Furthermore, it would be ideal if it could continue to be customized even after it has been released. An excellent illustration of this is a built-in function of Apple’s – VoiceOver.  It takes into mind persons with diverse abilities and enables them to effectively traverse the platform.

Examples of designs that are inclusive

Include variety in your graphic design

Remember that the way you represent individuals on your graphics communicates with viewers not only with the characters from your artwork but also displays your attitude towards people. People are more likely to utilize a product with which they can identify. When creating a graphic that includes individuals, make them distinct. Adopting diversity in image design and illustration is a significant step toward developing an inclusive culture.

Clarity and readability of text for elderly users

It’s good to offer readable and maybe basic words so that our product can be readily understood and navigated by older people. Seniors often do not have the same sharp sense of sight as younger people, thus tiny type and font sizes might be difficult for them. Designers should utilize moderately big font sizes, great contrast between letters, and a clean typeface to offer them facilities. Offering a button that allows font augmentation is a nice compromise approach between addressing young and senior consumers. Implementing a dark-mode option is another good practice. Older users and persons suffering from cataracts typically have difficulty with processing interfaces. But keep in mind that it should be an option rather than a continuous mode. Allow users to make their own decisions.

Create for persons with impairments in mind

The experience of right-handed vs. left-handed persons utilizing things is a frequent instance demonstrating this idea. It is believed that 10% of internet users are left-handed. If we can assist them, we will improve the quality of life for persons who have lost an arm or have a temporary arm handicap. To do this, we can provide the option of altering the location of some key elements in settings. Alternatively, you may set them in a neutral location so that consumers can pick where to tap while being comfortable.

Filters and patterns that are inclusive

look deeper into their wants and serve them in fun ways. A recent feature of Pinterest, an image-sharing app, is an example of such activity. The tool allows users to filter based on some unusual alternatives, such as hair patterns — curly, straight, and so on. Although it may not appear to be a critical component, it is a vital step in demonstrating the empathetic attitude of the designers. 

Support inclusion by designing accessible products

Recall that the design idea of "solve for one, extend to many" works hand in hand with an inclusive approach. Take into mind people’s various experiences and comply with accessibility guidelines. Creating inclusive digital products is quite a task – especially if it’s something new for you. Professional UX/UI designers always take this responsibility in the software development process. It's a step in the right direction toward a more open, diverse, and inclusive society.