What is the font size you use while designing your application? Do you measure the contrast ratio of every color combination in your application? User experience turns bad when minority of people, who we called them disabled people, fails to use your application because they could not use it without assist.
Increasing population of disabled people around the world raise the awareness of creating application with accessibility in mind. What will be your move, as an application designer, to achieve balance between inclusive design and fancy design? Do we sacrifice the fanciness to be inclusive, or vice versa? Or we have enough technology skill today, that achieve both without sacrificing each other?
?There is no one size fit all design.? It doesn’t actually sound bad. It is just a common fact that happen everywhere, not only in the context of application design.
Having this topic discussed publicly, turns out that we should not only focus on the argument of keeping both inclusive and fanciness design or sacrificing one of them, but more about how we should deliver our application the best way to suit the user.
Who is the target audience?
To be inclusive or to be fancy? Find out who is the target audience first. Having in mind that ?no one size fit all? rule, understand the target audience is the main focus before deciding which direction to go.
Leave the control to the user
Instead of making decision on the design during the application, why not leave the control to the users themselves? Having the control of customizing how the application can be viewed sounds more user friendly, especially when we don’t want to sacrifice the fanciness, but have to take into consideration of accessibility like font sizes and color contrast.
External Assistive Technology
Screen reader is another powerful tool that helps visually impaired usual to use your application without much difficulty. It helps to read out the application such that the users know how they can continue interact with the application.
What about having two completely different layouts, one cater for accessibility, one for fanciness? With this, we don’t sacrifice design at all! Personalise the application to allow the it adapt to different users.
The advanced technology allow us to detect easily who the user is. For example, personalisation can be done by detecting what kind of device being used by the user, such as screen reader or any assistive tool used by disabled people, or just normal devices from common users, then adapt the design accordingly.
Other common practices
Shortcut keys to help navigation, interface consistency such as swipe direction, should always be in mind during application development.
Accessibility is not just about UI design, it’s more about practises, understanding of how disabled people interact with our application, it involves many levels of testing including physically and mentally.
Again, no one size fit all design.