Accessibility in Design

As designers its our job to think about making our products accessible to everyone, we should be thinking of ways of making our products accessible from the start which is what I’ll be discussing in this blog post

When we create designs, we use several tools to communicate. One of the most obvious tools we use in design is color. It is a an element which we use to communicate various things such as status or emotion, and helps us distinguish one thing from another. Now, lets take into consideration that one in 12 men, and one in 200 women have some form of color blindness, that’s around 315 million people in the world. 

Knowing that, how should we as designers change our products so that they no longer rely solely on colour to relay a message. We’d use other methods to distinguish things from one another. This is not to say that we should remove colour all together, but to ensure that it isn’t the only method to communicate your message.

Now lets consider the keyboard for a moment.

 One of the most important requirements for accessibility is keyboard usage. Because this can genuinely affect people with many different types of disabilities. When you, as a designer, make things accessible to use with a keyboard, you make it work for people who can’t use a mouse. 

Some people may have mobility challenges or issues that make it difficult to use a mouse. Other people may be blind and can’t see the screen and need to use a keyboard. Keyboard usage also makes it accessible to people that use other assistive technologies like voice recognition software, switches among other devices.

It’s important as designers to consider ALL the people that may use our products and ensure that we think of them as we’re designing our products.

This interesting video discusses more about the benefits of accessible design:

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