How to Anchor Your UX Design Process in Inclusivity

How to Anchor Your UX Design Process in Inclusivity

By Hernan Ainsa, UX/UI Consultant

The core responsibility of UX designers and developers is to ensure that every individual, regardless of their unique abilities or needs, can effortlessly access and interact with a given product.

To that end, OZ has put together the following concise guide to developing outstanding, useful products that nurture a truly intuitive experience for everyone.

Understand Your Users

Prior to embarking on any design project, it is essential to gain a comprehensive understanding of your target audience. This may involve conducting user research, engaging with focus groups, and seeking feedback from users with diverse backgrounds—including those with disabilities. By delving into this invaluable process, you arm yourself with deep insights into potential users’ needs, preferences, and challenges, which will serve not only to enhance accessibility but as the foundation for effective designs, enabling you to create products that cater to a wide range of users, ensuring inclusivity and usability for all.

WCAG Standards

At OZ, we are well-versed in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) set forth by the W3C. These guidelines serve as a compass for delivering accessible digital content. Both our design and development teams follow WCAG’s recommendations, covering various aspects such as providing alternative text for images, keyboard navigation, color contrast, and multimedia alternatives. Adhering to these standards helps us ensure that our products are compliant and inclusive.

Intuitive and Consistent Navigation

The importance of a seamless and intuitive navigation system cannot be overstated, especially for users with disabilities. Therefore, we meticulously craft clear and descriptive labels for links and buttons, enabling screen readers to accurately convey information to users with visual impairments. By keeping a consistent system throughout the interface, you can make it simpler for users to make decisions, predict the location of elements, streamline their interactions, and enhance their overall experience.

Mindful Use of Color and Contrast

While color can be a powerful design element, it can also pose issues for users with visual impairments. Ensuring readability is paramount. To achieve this, you must implement the right color contrast between text and background elements. OZ, for example, utilizes a set of tools and resources that enable us to verify our designs against accessibility standards across different platforms and devices.

Keyboard Accessibility

Understanding that not all users can interact with traditional input methods such as a mouse or touch screen, work to create designs that are fully functional using only the keyboard. By avoiding reliance on hover or drag-and-drop interactions you will build a seamless experience for individuals with motor disabilities, where users can navigate and interact with the entire interface using the Tab key and arrow keys, embracing inclusivity.

Making Multimedia Content Accessible

Although sometimes posing potential barriers for users with disabilities, multimedia elements can enrich the overall user experience. Emphasize text alternatives for images, enabling screen readers to convey to users the context and meaning behind visuals. Additionally, the use of captions, transcripts, or sign language interpretation for multimedia content ensures that all users can access the information presented.

Readability and Clarity

Ensuring that content is clear, concise, and easy to read is fundamental. The general rule is to avoid jargon and keep a simple, easy-to-grasp language, making our products more inclusive for users with cognitive disabilities. When possible, offer options to adjust font sizes and line spacing so users that may have difficulty reading small text can personalize their reading experience, enhancing readability for all and overall usability.

Your Next Steps

At OZ, we create products that make a positive impact and contribute to a more inclusive digital world, ensuring that no user is left behind.

To find out more about our modern application development services click here or reach out today.

You can download a copy of our free e-Book, Future App: Overcoming the 3 Major Challenges to Unlocking the Power & Promise of Today’s Modern Applications.