Recently, technological developments have been focusing on implementing features such as AI, conversational UI and other forms that help make technology more accessible and user friendly to a wide range of audiences. When people think of accessibility, the notion of disability comes to mind. While there are users that are disabled, accessibility in UX refers to making sure that a design can be accessible to any user at any time and anywhere.
Although this does involve making the overall design more accessible for people with disabilities through making sure that the user interface is usable and accessible, this is not the sole focus of making UX more accessible. Accessibility in UX is about making the experience better for every single kind of user under every kind of situation.
Here is a checklist of some considerations to keep in mind when designing something to help make sure that it is accessible. There are a multitude of ways to help make UX accessible for every single user.
- Don’t rely exclusively on color
Color-blindness affects roughly 10% of the population, and if you design relies on colors to convey a message, this could get lost in an entire group of users. There are many tools for helping designers select color combinations that are color-blind friendly, as well as ensuring the design doesn’t rely solely on colors.
- Prioritize Text Clarity
One of the biggest obstacles users face is trying to read text that isn’t clear, making the overall experience frustrating. It is essential to focus on the clarity, readability, and legibility of letters on the design, making sure that the text clarity is the priority of the design. It doesn’t matter how flashy the design is if no one, especially visually impaired users, cannot read the text. Text clarity is an easy way to increase the accessibility of a UX design to all kinds of users.
- Adding text to non-text content
Consider adding a text alternative descriptions to images, audio, and video contents as well as adding a name to controls such as ‘submit’ or ‘enter’. For example, consider adding a text description to describe an image, rather than solely relying on the image. Adding text to non-text content can help make content accessible to a wide variety of users, as well as provide clarity.
- Use headings to create structure
Heading styles, whether through images or texts, can help give structure to an experience and guide the user as to what they are supposed to focus on. Headings help give structure, form, and help guide the user's eye to specific areas of the page, rather than overwhelming them.