Accessibility in UX: Design Inclusive Experiences for Everyone

Article by Olivia Gerber Morón.

What is accessibility?

Normal is a myth - we are all different and we are never the same

You slept very badly last night and, as a consequence, your attention span (or patience) will be shorter today. It can help if the content you’re reading is structured in a simple layout, using plain language. Or, say, you’re suffering from an ear infection and you aren’t hearing quite as well as you usually do. Subtitles for video conferencing could make your work easier. These are just a few examples of how all of us change over time — sometimes subtly and sometimes in more significant ways — and our needs are never the same. So ideally, the design of digital and physical products and services we interact with can (and should) adapt to these constant, changing needs.

This is how you want to define accessibility. It’s not just a concept of creating products and services that aid disabled people. It goes beyond that. Accessibility is about offering a better design for all,  making sure we are catering to as many user profiles as possible, in as many contexts as possible. It’s about making everybody part of the experience, no matter the circumstances.

This article will introduce you to the concept of accessibility from a different angle, explaining why you should care about it and what the benefits of accessible, inclusive products and services are. We will also guide you through how you can embed accessibility in product development and what the advantages of thinking about accessibility from the start are. Finally, we will share with you four practical steps to get your company started with accessibility.

Accessibility is not only about disability

We all have sensorial, physical, and cognitive abilities that vary throughout our lives. This means that we sense, move, think, feel and communicate differently over time. Not supporting these human differences leads to disability and exclusion in society. However, if we take them into consideration, we can create more inclusive experiences for all.

For example, if your website is written using easy language and the layout is divided into short paragraphs, you can make the content accessible not only to people who have different cognitive abilities, such as dyslexia, attention deficit disorder, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. In fact, people who are not native speakers (including sign language native speakers), or those who might feel tired after a long day staring at a screen, will also gain a better experience. This will attract more consumers to your website because it’s intuitive and easy to navigate and understand for all.

This has been a preview. The full report can be accessed online by Nimdzi Partners.

The full publication available to Nimdzi Partners explores the concept of accessbility from different angles and provides perspectives on how to embed accessibility in product development stages.

This article has been researched and written by Nimdzi's Multilingual User Researcher, Olivia Gerber Morón. If you want to learn more about this topic, reach out to Olivia at [email protected].

3 July 2023

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