Image for post
Image for post

The case for designing for accessibility, and how to actually practice it

Preface

What is Accessible Design?

Image for post
Image for post
The term ‘intersectionality’ was first coined by Kimberlé Crenshaw in 1989 to describe how race, class, gender, and other individual characteristics “intersect” with one another and overlap.

Why is it important?

Inaccessible and unethical design can harm people 😣

Image for post
Image for post
Colorblind individuals like Marc may have a difficult time differentiating between colors like red and green within a digital scheduling calendar.

Accessible design breaks into huge untapped markets 🔨

Image for post
Image for post
Product development has a ton of untapped markets — demographics including those who are 65 and older, LGBTQ+, and/or disabled.

Building accessible products benefits more people than you’d expect 🙇🏻‍♀️

A sidewalk curb cut.
A sidewalk curb cut.
Behold, the curb cut — a ramp cut into a street curb to provide access between a sidewalk and the street.
Image for post
Image for post
Pushing for accessibility within your designs will support a more equitable user base and — in the larger picture — society as a whole.

How can I practice accessible design?

Understand the role of color for different people 👩🏾‍🎨

Image for post
Image for post
Color psychology explains the moods that colors can evoke in people — knowing what colors mean to people can shape the meaning of everything from your brand’s voice to your design assets. This image depicts Western interpretations of colors.

Be thoughtful with information architecture 🗺

Image for post
Image for post
Placeholder text in forms is a common trend in digital design, but as it disappears with text input, it can confuse users as to what the form was asking for.
Image for post
Image for post
Utilizing the best typography practices can structure your work well and make your content easily readable.

Include alternative text for your images and non-text content ✍️

Image for post
Image for post
Alternative text will enable more users to understand your content without necessarily seeing the image or non-text content.

Tl;dr – Designing for accessibility is a constant learning process 🧠

Designer, student, and national park aficionado.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store