Time to focus on accessible design

Sometimes it seems that design issues are reduced to "appearance", something that is nice, but not particularly important. We, and many with us, clearly see how important the design is to different kinds of interfaces, especially when we make user tests. If you want to make sure your visitors understand and can handle your information - focus on the design.

The form affects how the user reads and understands the content, but also how the user handles services and functionality. Where different objects are placed, if it is clear where the visitor should click, how the text is presented and many other things affect all of your visitors, often more than you think. It’s easy to become biased in favour of what’s familiar, thinking of a certain design as straight forward and easy to use simply because you’re used to it.

We notice increased interest in accessibility and design issues, says Frida Westholm, designer at Funka. Our design team will present on how design affects accessibility and show examples at the Accessibility Days.

In WCAG 2.1, the version of the international standard for web accessibility launched this summer, there are additional requirements that affects the design of the interface. But there are already many things you may need to improve the design, such as the choice of colors and contrasts between text and background. The design affects all users, but from an accessibility perspective, there are some target groups that are particularly important to think about:

For persons with motor impairments, location of objects is even more important, small click surfaces can be very difficult and if it is not clear what is clickable, it can cause major difficulties for users who control the computer with other means than keyboard and mouse.

For persons who are not used to technology or unsure how things work, a clear design helps to make the interface more understandable. A logical order and consistency helps people who have difficulty understanding, whether it is due to cognitive impairments or that the interface is new or different from what they are used to.

Persons with visual impairments sometimes need extreme magnification. The design can help users orientate between different points of interest. For example, large white areas will be very difficult to navigate in.

Of course, for persons with reading and writing difficulties, the design of the text is extremely important. Font, formatting, and row length selection may affect some users just as much as the actual content.

We can offer support

Funka has Designers, UX Specialists, Accessibility Experts and AT Specialists who can make sure your interface helps the users. We provide services on the design of an entire website, a small table or an interactive service alike. Some examples:

  • We can design your interface so it works for all users
  • We can review your interface from an accessibility standpoint
  • We can test your interface with end users with and without disabilities and AT
  • We can train your staff or your suppliers in accessibility requirements regarding UX and design

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