Home » Assistive Technology » Accessible UX|UI design: everything you need to know

Accessible UX|UI design: everything you need to know

Purple background. In the center, the illustration of an accessible UX|UI design website

The internet is a revolutionary tool that has changed our lives since it was born! However, unfortunately, more than 98% of the websites are failing to comply with accessibility requirements in the United States. That’s right, it has facilitated the daily lives of many people, but, on the other hand, it still has numerous barriers, especially for people with disabilities. In order to end inequalities, there is something called accessible UX|UI design. So, if you want to learn more about it, just stay here with us!

Accessible UX|UI design: why is it important?

To start talking about it, we need to understand what UX|UI design is. “UX design” refers to the user experience, it is linked to a person’s level of satisfaction when using a digital platform, service or product. Here we are talking about emotion, what the visitor feels when coming into contact with a page.

The term “UI design” means “user interface design”. So, the “UI” is part of the physical experience of navigation, it is how the user interacts with the product (site, app, machine).

But what does this have to do with digital accessibility? The lack of digital accessibility directly impacts the user experience and interface (UX|UI design), as websites and apps designed for people without disabilities have many barriers in general, which are excluding a large portion of the population.

For example, when some deaf people, who communicate using ASL (American Sign Language), try to navigate a page that does not have a translation to their natural language, they will find it very difficult to understand the content written in English. As well as blind people who browse with the help of screen readers, accessibility tools that read all online content. It is necessary that the images have good alternative descriptions (ALT), otherwise, they will not have a good experience either, as they will not understand the visual information being transmitted there.

That’s where accessible UX|UI design comes in. It’s when we think about the experience and the user interface in a complete and inclusive way, allowing everyone to navigate with autonomy and comfort.

Tips for an accessible UX|UI design 

Now that you know what accessible UX/UI design is and what it is all about, let’s learn some ways to put it in practice:

  • Install ASL translators to translate the text into Sign Language, contributing to greater inclusion of people who communicate in this language.
  • Include subtitles and audio description in videos on your page. This practice is accessible to all people, not just people with hearing impairments, for example.
  • Ensure that all images have a good alternative text. With this feature, blind and low vision people, who use screen readers, will be able to absorb the information that is being transmitted via image.
  • Avoid transmiting information through images and emojis. This habit is not accessible to blind people.
  • Develop accessible codes in website programming. This also makes it easier for blind and low vision people to use screen-reading software to understand.
  • Include fonts with good readability. Texts with the proper fonts and sizes make it possible for everyone to read with comfort.
  • Enable the user to change the font size in your website’s interface.
  • High contrast. Thinking about colors and making sure the contrast is right not only benefits people with visual impairments, but also improves design for everyone.
  • Enable contrast and brightness customization.
  • Be careful with overly saturated colors! They can annoy people with autism, for example.
  • Don’t overdo the animations, they can distract anyone, especially those with attention difficulties.
  • Create a touch area (like clickable buttons) of at least 44 pixels. This helps people with physical disabilities or the elderly.
  • Follow the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). These guidelines ensure greater accessibility for all people, not just those with disabilities.
  • Check if your solution is compatible with all types of screens.
  • Provide voice command search. This makes it easier for blind people and also people with cerebral palsy, among other disabilities, as well as being useful for anyone.
  • Ensuring that your layout follows a logical and uncomplicated sequence.
  • Thinking about the hierarchy of sources and content is also a good practice to make navigation easier for everyone.
  • Avoid complex sentences and texts. Do the exercise to think if semi-illiterate people would be able to understand the message, or if when the content is translated into ASL, will it still make sense?

An accessible UX|UI design is a responsibility not only of the entire team involved in programming, but also of the entire company. It is recommended that you think about accessibility from the beginning of the project, as it is easier to implement the most appropriate solutions than when it is already finalized.

Who does it benefit?

Maybe you are still a little in doubt about who is the public that benefits from accessibility. Many people believe that it is only the people with disabilities, but this is a huge mistake!

As we have said before, investing in a good UX|UI design will certainly bring very positive results, as it impacts everyone’s usability. Children, young people, people with and without disabilities, and also the elderly. But it does not stop there! Brands also benefit from this, as websites that have accessible design open their doors to an audience that was not seen before and even guarantees a better positioning in Google Search.

UX Design means focusing on the user and making them the main objective within the project. Having an approach focused on accessibility means making this product accessible to all people, regardless of context. That means making your designs user-friendly for everyone, including people with disabilities. Thinking about accessibility doesn’t limit creativity, and it will help in the problem-solving process.

Using good accessibility practices does not favor only people with disabilities. People without disabilities may have some temporary limitation, or even develop a permanent one. For example, if the person is very tired, they may have difficulty understanding the information, or seeing the contents because of the excess light.

It is important to design inclusive interfaces thinking about information architecture, use of colors, layout and visual design, text formatting, content and microcopy.” – Cybele Silva UX|UI Designer at Hand Talk.

Promoting a good experience and user interface involves several steps. And if you want to know more about it, visit our blog! 

    Want to receive the latest news about accessibility, diversity and inclusion?

    To the top