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The importance of accessibility in design quality

person with disability using a laptop website accessibility
Web accessibility must be a design priority

When my son was a toddler, he liked to pull everything. He pulled pranks, curtains, and my hair. Well, one day I had this idea to turn that into a useful skill.

Our wall fan had that little string you pull to turn it on and off, so I taught him how to do that. One pull turned it on. Two pulls turned it off. I even carried him every day to reach the string for practice.

There was a missing piece, though: he couldn’t reach the string by himself. So I tied a shoelace to make it longer.

One day, when we were leaving the room, I asked him to turn off the fan. He turned it off all by himself, beaming at me as I praised him joyfully. I’m one proud momma!

That got me thinking: asking a person to do a task is one thing but when we make things accessible for people, it empowers them to use them whenever they want.

What’s the deal with design accessibility?

So, what’s accessibility, anyway? Simply put, it’s all about designing stuff so that it’s easy to use for as many people as possible. Like making sure the text is readable, colors are clear, and buttons are easy to click.

So why is this so important? Well, for starters, there are loads of people with disabilities or challenges who struggle to use things not designed with accessibility in mind.

But it’s not just for them! It helps everyone else too. Making text easier to read or buttons easier to click benefits everyone, especially on tiny screens.

designer with laptop showing website accessibility
Make sure that anyone can use and understand your design.

It’s the law, y’all!

In many places, including the US, accessibility is required by law. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) makes sure public places provide equal access to people with disabilities, including accessible websites.

Other countries have similar laws, like the European Union’s Web Accessibility Directive. So, even if it’s not the law yet, it’s still good practice. And as we rely more on digital stuff, accessibility is gonna become even more important.

How to make designs accessible

Want to design with accessibility in mind? Here are some basic tips:

Good color contrast

Dark text on a light background, or the other way around, makes it easier to read.

accessibility tip - good colour contrast - ver2

Clear typography

Choose easy-to-read fonts and sizes that work for people with visual impairments.

accessibility tip - clear typography - ver2

Clear labels

Label buttons and interactive elements clearly with words everyone understands.

accessibility tip - clear labels - ver2

Alt text for images

Super important for visually impaired people using screen readers. Alt text helps them know what’s in the image.

accessibility tip - alt text for images - ver2

There’s a lot more to consider, but these are some great starting points!

Accessibility is good for business too

Accessible design doesn’t just help users with disabilities, it’s good for businesses as well. Here’s how:

  1. Bigger market reach: Accessible design helps businesses reach more customers, including those with disabilities.
  2. Better user experience: Accessible websites and products are more user-friendly for everyone, making customers more likely to come back.
  3. SEO boost: Features like alt text and video transcripts improve website SEO, ranking it higher in search results and bringing in more traffic.
  4. Legal risk reduction: Some countries have laws about accessibility, so designing with it in mind helps businesses avoid potential lawsuits.
  5. Show social responsibility: Accessible design shows a commitment to inclusivity, which can help attract and keep customers who value that.

Accessible designs at your fingertips

Deer Designer has been all about accessible designs from the start. We think quality designs should be beautiful and easy to use. Our clients find that accessible designs bring more website visitors and engagement too.

Designing for accessibility makes the world more inclusive and welcoming for everyone. That’s something we can all support, right?