Inclusive Design, Day 10/15: Making Your App Accessible Benefits Everyone

This is day 10 of 15 in a short series on inclusive design. If you missed earlier posts, see day 1 here or view the full list.


Making your app accessible to visually impaired users benefits all your users. — Ayesha Zafar on the Invision blog

Taking the principles of inclusive design from idea to action means changing how and what we design. A reminder that technical details matter as much as the intention.

Via the design.blog/inclusive checklist under “Building inclusion into designs” we see how this relates to accessibility, “There’s no inclusion without accessibility.”

build-inclusion-into-designs.png
Screenshot of the “Building inclusion into designs” section on the design.blog/inclusive checklist.

The amazing thing about doing the hard work for universal access is that the changes benefit everyone. Design for slow bandwidth? It’ll load faster for all people.

Here’s the full text for this checklist section, for reference:

There’s no inclusion without accessibility. Accessible designs will present differently depending on the medium you’re working in; consider physical, visual, auditory, financial, and other factors as well as an individual’s temporary or permanent limitations to accessing each. Is your video accessible to someone with hearing impairment? Is your website accessible to someone with a low internet bandwidth? Is your copy readable by individuals with different education levels, for whom the text is in a second language, or who are new to the subject matter? The more contexts you consider, the more accessible and inclusive your designs will be.


For a real-life example, I love this in-depth look at providing an accessible mobile app experience for visually impaired users by product designer Ayesha Zafar. Written for Invision, makers of software for digital designers. To understand inclusive design at both the highest level, the why — means you then need to deliver at the detail level, the what and how.

Read the full article to learn about: How to Design Mobile App Experiences for the Visually Impaired.

Screenshot showing the Invision app experience of inclusive design
Screenshot showing the Invision blog article about inclusive design applied to visually impaired mobile app users.

Ayesha also wrote a similar guide — focused instead on blind users — that’s also full of accessibility tips and inclusive design principles: How to design accessible mobile experiences for the blind.

Image of Ayesha Zafar saying
Ayesha Zafar says “empathy is key when designing app experiences.”

On a digital product team it is everyone’s responsibility to have empathy for users and thus all users, no matter their ability, should be considered in the design process. — Ayesha Zafar on the Willow Tree Apps blog

Thank you, Ayesha. 💯

For day 11 of 15 of inclusive design, another example of “solve for one, extend to many — accessibility and usability considered first in the design: the story of “OXO Good Grips.”


About this Inclusive Design series In 5 days I’ll give a talk on inclusive design at WordCamp Phoenix 2018. Leading up to the conference I’m publishing notes on voices, stories, products, and other resources: everything I’m learning about this emerging practice. This is day 10 of 15. Read more about the series.

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