social media,social media design,social media graphics,social media christmas designs,socmed designs

Transforming social media into a welcoming space

Social media accessibility and inclusion different global nationalities around the world - ver 2
Is your social media content inclusive?

Let’s talk about something important: inclusive design on social media. It’s not just the responsibility of fancy UX designers and web developers; it’s on all of us, including social media marketers and everyday content creators like you and me.

When we create social media platforms, features, and content with inclusivity in mind, we’re making sure that everyone can fully participate, no matter who they are or what they’re capable of.

The idea is to think about the diverse needs and experiences of different users. That means considering people with disabilities, those who speak different languages or come from different cultures, and those with unique requirements.

We all love having a voice on social media, but it can be a real pain for users with disabilities or unique needs. 

When content on social media isn’t accessible, it shuts these users out of the online community and prevents them from accessing important information.

Would you believe that about one billion people, which is roughly 15% of the world’s population, experience some form of disability? And if we consider temporary or situational disabilities, that number shoots up even higher.

According to the World Health Organization, around 33% of people globally have hearing or sight impairments. Since social media is mostly consumed through audio and visuals, making it accessible is absolutely vital.

The law protects people with disabilities

By the way, did you know that many countries have laws that require websites and digital content to be accessible?

In the US, Canada, and the UK, for instance, we’ve got the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).

These laws make it crystal clear that digital content should be accessible to users with disabilities. It’s definitely something we should keep in mind as we create content for social media.

Social media accessibility and inclusion communication handicap
Communicate effectively with inclusive and accessible content.

7 Inclusive design tips for social media

Now, let’s dive into some inclusive design tips that can help us make our content more accessible and inclusive for everyone.

1. Always add alt text 

Alt text, or alternative text, is super important. It provides descriptive captions for images, allowing users who can’t see them to still visualize the content.

Accessibility tools use alt text to describe images, so leaving it blank or relying on vague automatic captions isn’t ideal.

Thankfully, platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn have specific fields where we can add alt text. If those options aren’t available, we should include descriptive words in the post copy itself. 

2. Provide video captions

When it comes to videos, adding captions or subtitles is a must. This helps users with hearing impairments, as well as those watching videos in non-native languages or sound-off environments.

Closed captions are the preferred option since users can turn them on or off. But if closed captions aren’t available or if brand design requirements call for it, we can use open captions burned into the video itself.

3. Write accessible text

Clarity is key! When we write in a clear and understandable way, it benefits all users. Consider how users with accessibility tools, users learning English as a second language, and users with learning disabilities will experience the text.

Some inclusive design tips for text include writing in plain language, avoiding fancy fonts that screen readers can’t handle, using abbreviations carefully to avoid confusion, and not overdoing it with caps or asterisks.

If we have a bunch of hashtags, it’s a good idea to put them in a separate comment to enhance accessibility.

 

Social media accessibility and inclusion brainstorming
Accessibility means being able to foster free-flowing information.

4. Create accessible visuals

Visuals can be tricky for users with vision impairments, so we have to make sure they’re accessible too.

To make visuals inclusive, we must: check colour contrast (according to WCAG), avoid relying solely on colour for meaning, skip flashy animations, and keep excessive text out of images (use the post caption instead).

Ask your Deer Designer team how to make your designs more accessible today!

5. Consider accessibility of memes and emojis

Emojis and memes are very popular, but they might not be accessible to everyone. We need to remember that emojis may not convey the intended meaning when interpreted through assistive tools like screen readers. Let’s be mindful of that.

6. Stay updated on platform accessibility features

The major social media platforms have been working on improving accessibility and introducing new features. We should stay informed about these accessibility features and resources to ensure we’re in compliance.

Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and TikTok have dedicated accessibility pages, support centres, and accounts that provide guidance and information.

7. Embrace feedback

None of us are expected to be accessibility experts, but we should always strive to learn and improve. When we receive feedback, let’s accept it graciously and see it as an opportunity for growth. It’s all about making our content better for everyone.

Start from the edge

Social media accessibility and inclusion with Deer Designer - ver 2
Leave no one behind.

I agree with a useful comment on social media about accessibility. It said: When we design or create content, it’s better to start from the edge of the target market. This means considering people with disabilities first.

If we create for the people in the middle, the average consumer, there is a higher probability that the people on the edge will be left out.

Inclusive design is absolutely essential for social media platforms. We want to create a welcoming and inclusive space for all users, right? 

By implementing these inclusive design tips, we can ensure accessibility and allow users with disabilities or unique needs to fully engage in the online community.

Plus, creating a more inclusive social media environment benefits everyone and fosters a sense of belonging for all users. So let’s make our content as inclusive as possible and spread the positivity!