In today’s digital-by-default society, inclusive design has never been more important. From healthcare to food delivery, many of our regular administrative tasks are now completed online which – overall – makes people’s lives easier and more efficient. However, those with ranging abilities are often left out; unable to use these platforms (and therefore access the services and information they need) due to poor design practices.
This is particularly relevant following yesterday’s news of a landmark case won against Domino’s Pizza – which must now take steps to ensure its mobile app is fully accessible to all.
Addressing this issue needs to be a priority for businesses – not just in terms of sales lost by not taking advantage of the £212m “purple pound” – but morally, too.
But how to do it? Here are our top tips.
Invite users with ranging abilities and needs to take part in usability sessions throughout the site’s design process. This will help assess how effective certain features are and highlight areas that need to be improved.
Include features such as adjustable text size, optional visual effects, close-captioned or signed videos and links in which the clickable area is larger than the surrounding text.
Constrain choices and actions so that people aren’t overwhelmed by too many options
Make content easy to understand. Try to use the language that people use day-to-day
Make design choices in the typography and use of colour that make your content more legible, easier to digest and scan quickly
Consider the digital skills of those accessing the website or app, to remove any barriers to engagement. Ask them for feedback regularly.
In navigation, give people quick routes to the information they need, and minimise the number of steps needed to complete an action so that people can achieve their goals quickly and easily
Sigma helps organisations to design with their intended audience, test their apps and websites with users, and train design and development teams in accessibility.
Hilary Stephenson is the managing director of user experience (UX) agency, Sigma, which focuses on inclusive design for people of ranging abilities across the UK.
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