Accessibility is one of the 3 main aspects of UX design.
In the definition of UX, the goal is creating accessibility, usability and graphic design with the pleasure, during the interaction with the product. But an important part of society has different needs. We should always consider the fact that there are different kind of personas and different kind of issues we need to resolve. And now, Accessibility needs a special focus. It is a huge trend that taking over the world. Also, a humanly need and a responsibility of us.
Accessibility defines users’ ability to use products/services, but not the extent to which they can attain goals (usability). Designers should create output accommodating the needs of all potential users, be they disabled (e.g., color-blind users) or anyone facing situational barriers (e.g., being forced to multitask).
A designer should master the personas and the target they are creating for.
For the user with a disability, the challenge is to identify tools that provide the most convenient access to web-based and other electronic information. For the web content designer/developer, the challenge is to remove the obstacles that prevent accessibility tools from functioning effectively. In many cases, these challenges are relatively simple to overcome, but sometimes the solutions require some additional thought and effort.*
About 15% of the world’s population lives with some form of disability, of whom 2-4% experience significant difficulties in functioning.*
People with disabilities face a lot of barriers and gaps in their everyday life. From transportation and physical accessibility to the unavailability of devices and technologies, there is still a lot of problems waiting to be solved.
Designing Interactive Systems’ author, David Benyon, defines five reasons an inaccessible product excludes users:
1. Physical – takes too much strength to use.
2. Conceptual – has hard-to-understand instructions.
3. Economic – is too expensive.
4. Cultural – users can’t understand metaphors regarding product interaction.
5. Social – on joining a group, users don’t understand that group’s social conventions.
Master your personas. List the possibility of potential users and their disabilities. What’re the difficulties they will face?
The list of disabilities including:
Mobility –Transportation and physical difficulties, wheelchair, crutch
Auditory – Hearing difficulties, deafness, speech disorders
Neurological – Alzheimer, epilepsy, restricted sensory perceptions, mental processes, or motor functions.
Vision – Total blindness, color blindness, low vision
Cognitive – Autism, traumatic brain injury, dementia, dyslexia, language disorders
Psychological – Mental illnesses, emotional disorder, bipolar disorder, addiction disorder, poor mental health
The goal should create an easy to use, accessible, stress-free services that generally make users feel, use and interact with your service better.
*Don’t define important information in a content or design. Users that color blind or have low vision, cannot catch and understand the difference. Use color to highlight or complement what is already visible.
*According to the WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines), the contrast ratio between text and a text’s background should be at least 4.5 to 1. If it doesn’t fit this ratio, it won’t be easy to read for people with visual disabilities.
*Have enough knowledge about people in your target and their disability, write down what they could need. Try making user tests specialized for them. Create a service according to the results.
*Reach out to companies or teams who maintain websites with accessibility violations. Try tools that you can reach online, test your service on them.
*Give enough effort into inclusion, usability, and localization. Accessibility is mostly connected to these causes.
Creating accessible services is necessary and a human right. Designing better services for everyone is our assignment and responsibility for us as the technology employers. It is also rewarding, opening a new path of markets and a great reason to use more creativity and innovation. Aside it is a must; more people will interact with your product, get the benefit of your work and make your service more valuable and socially conscious.