Building inclusive and accessible products

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Wheelchair ramps, curb cuts, automatic doors, and braille buttons are examples of “accessible” features that are regularly encountered in public spaces. We may also point to instances where a design merely complied with rules but was far from inclusive or accessible, such as when an elevator door was too narrow or a slope was too steep.

The same problem exists in software design. Tools usually follow the letter of the law, but their capacity to satisfy the accessibility and inclusion requirements of people who aren’t the “median user” is occasionally constrained. Teams frequently fall short when it comes to accessibility because they believe it is unnecessary, takes too long, or makes the design appear unattractive.

Myth #1: Accessibility is a fringe need

It is practical to think that just a tiny portion of users are impaired. However, take into account how many persons are included in this WHO definition. A disability is “a mismatched link between a person’s physical traits and their living environment,” in their definition.

Have you ever had to use your maps while operating a vehicle? That is not compatible. Try looking at your phone or screen through fogged glasses or in the bright sun. Imagine a parent using their phone while carrying a youngster in one hand. This perspective makes it clear that everyone has encountered a disability at some point. Best services Think about disability on the basis of three different categories: permanent, temporary, or situational. There are users who experience temporary limitations, some users with persistent disabilities, and many users with situational challenges.

So who do you design for? Teams visualize a median user far too frequently. This exercise in developing marketing and sales personas is helpful, however from the standpoint of usability, this person doesn’t exist. The Air Force had to learn this lesson the hard way. They studied their pilots and determined the median height before creating what they considered to be the optimum chair. They were shocked to see the sudden rise in crash rates. No one was the average height, which explains why. The majority were smaller or taller. After starting over, they created a chair that could be adjusted to accommodate both extremes.

Don’t design your software with the typical user in mind. If you prepare for the worst-case scenario, you’ll eventually cover the average.

Myth #2: It takes too long

One of its benefits is that software teams tend to be lean and agile. Each business is instructed to develop the bare minimum feasible product. Sadly, this frequently eliminates products that are barely accessible. Because of a disability, more people than you might imagine have problems utilizing your product, as you already know from Myth #1. If not, why would you invest the time in developing truly inclusive software?

Let’s start with the carrot before going on to the stick. People with disabilities have a huge and expanding $21 billion in annual spending power. The amount is more than the combined purchasing power of the Latino and African American groups, despite the fact that there is obviously overlap. There is a huge market for readily available software products.

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Now to the stick. Legally, all designs must be accessible! The number of ADA cases has grown over the last ten years. Beyonce was sued because a blind person couldn’t order from her clothing brand. Dominos also lost a large lawsuit because it was difficult to place orders online. If you haven’t been burned yet, you most likely will in the near future.

Myth #3: Accessibility makes design uglier

You may remember the article from a few years back in Wired titled “How the Web Became Unreadable.” In it, the author discusses how he thought his vision was getting worse. Then he describes some of the visually pleasant design choices, such as small letter sizes, grey font color, and generally weak contrasts, that have made reading articles on a mobile phone almost miserable.

In other words, a beautiful design does not necessarily translate into a great user experience. Trends in design will have ups and downs. However, accessible design is a distinguishing quality of outstanding software.

Accessible design could become the norm. The authors of “Visualizing Financial Data” are Piotr Kaczmarek and Julie Rodriguez. Due to his colorblindness, Piotr purposefully produced graphs and charts with minimal lettering and dramatic contrasts. Its book has become the industry standard as a result of how transparent they were able to make their images.

Where do you go from here?

You may remember a Wired story titled “How the Web Became Unreadable” The author worries throughout the article about his eyesight. After that, he discloses some design choices that make reading on a phone practically unbearable. Small letter sizes, gray font color, and poor contrasts are aesthetic design decisions.

Having a great-looking design doesn’t mean it’s user-friendly. The best design isn’t the most attractive, but the most functional. Design trends come and go. Excellent software has a user-friendly design.

Accessible design may become common. Julie Rodriguez and Piotr Kaczmarek wrote “Visualizing Financial Data.” Piotr is colorblind, thus he used clear typeface and contrasting colors when designing graphs and charts. Their book is called the gold standard because of its readability.

By mihsalrankhigher

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