APP accessibility design: refusing to experience “obstacles”

2018-08-15

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In many years of application design, designers have made many discussions on improving the quality of product design while keeping in mind the application of accessibility design. In fact, “accessibility” design itself is easy for designers to cause dissatisfaction. Why? The answer is simple. Because designers do not like to add “unnecessary” functions to disrupt their designs. Accessibility design not only often needs to increase the function of “unnecessary”, but also destroys the aesthetic sense of its application design to a certain extent. Some designers even don’t understand why additional features are added to accessibility to increase interface noise. The roots of these misconceptions lie in the fact that designers do not understand that the inconvenience caused by accessibility design is usually temporary.

APP accessibility design: refusing to experience

In many years of application design, designers have made many discussions on improving the quality of product design while keeping in mind the application of accessibility design. In fact, “accessibility” design itself is easy for designers to cause dissatisfaction. Why? The answer is simple. Because designers do not like to add “unnecessary” functions to disrupt their designs. Accessibility design not only often needs to increase the function of “unnecessary”, but also destroys the aesthetic sense of its application design to a certain extent. Some designers even don’t understand why additional features are added to accessibility to increase interface noise. The roots of these misconceptions lie in the fact that designers do not understand that the inconvenience caused by accessibility design is usually temporary.

The “temporary inconveniences” mentioned here refer to the fact that in a person’s life, it is unavoidable to fall into a situation of some kind of physical defect in the best days. Fortunately, most of the difficulties are temporary, although a small part of them will be permanent and will last for a lifetime. However, if designers ignore this part of the population and design some applications that they can’t access and use, it will greatly affect the overall experience of software applications. In fact, according to the WHO report, more than 15% of the world’s population is suffering from certain “physical defects”. If designers ignore the needs of such groups of people, there is no doubt that they will lose 15% of the world’s users directly.

Application of accessibility principle

The accessibility design of the application is improved in the current state of software applications, enabling applications to help those with disabilities to discover, preserve and understand network information, and even contribute to the network. Nowadays, many applications provide interactive designs for disabled users to interact with applications or complete certain operations. These designs have greatly facilitated their online life.

The application system designed by the designer may be a miracle in terms of technology. However, if its accessibility design is not friendly enough, then what is the difference between it and bricks without practical effect?

Moreover, there are many types of physical disabilities in the world. All these types can be summarized as follows:

APP accessibility design: refusing to experience

Color recognition disorders (color blindness): it is not entirely blind, but just one of the visually impaired. People with color recognition disabilities simply cannot distinguish colors from ordinary people. According to relevant researchers, more than 4.5% of the world’s population suffers from this vision disability.

APP accessibility design: refusing to experience

Low vision: Generally speaking, people with low vision disabilities often have difficulties in using electronic products. And nearly 135 million of the world’s population suffers from such disabilities. Some of them may just be unable to see clearly, but others have very poor eyesight.

Blindness: a person who can not see the world at all, is called a blind person. Because they can’t receive external information through their vision, most of the time, they know the world through touch, smell, and hearing, and communicate with the outside world.

Motor skills disabilities: many people are more or less limited in their lifetime. This disability disorder will greatly affect our use of software applications.

Hearing impairment (hearing loss): hearing impairment is a considerable obstacle in the process of accessing and using software. Because most software applications use voice to explain and guide users to complete certain operations. This is extremely small for users with hearing impairment.

Cognitive impairment: This is one of the sensitive areas that designers must deal with carefully. Because users who are affected by cognitive deficits often fail to handle complex software applications and perform certain operations. This type of cognitive impairment is caused by diseases such as autism.

How to improve the accessibility of software applications?

Many methods can improve the accessibility of software applications. Here are some simple design tips to get higher application accessibility:

1. color is not the only way of visual expression

APP accessibility design: refusing to experience

In most cases, designers do not want to add “unnecessary” elements to disrupt their designs. However, as designers, it is far from enough to use color to convey relevant application information to users. For example, it is assumed that when users with color recognition barriers are using similar software applications, it is impossible to understand the designer’s design intentions through the red border outside the text. The effective way to solve this situation is not only to use color as the only way of visual communication. Rather, it tells users more elements, what interactions are being entered, and what results it will bring to more relevant information.

2. refusing the “uppercase” label

APP accessibility design: refusing to experience

Most designers often use uppercase tags in software applications. However, for some users with cognitive impairment and visual impairment, reading will be very difficult.

3. comparison between the elements and the background

APP accessibility design: refusing to experience

It turns out that designers are more willing to add elements of lower contrast. However, for users, when the contrast between elements decreases, they will be more difficult to read and understand the application interface content. According to the WCAG 2 standard, it is easier for users to read and understand when the contrast between the small text elements and the background is 4:5:1. and the large number of text elements is compared to 3: 1.

Reserve the appropriate spacing before the 4. element

APP accessibility design: refusing to experience

The distance between elements is an important factor in designing software applications. The appropriate spacing between elements can effectively improve the usability and accessibility of software applications. If elements are designed into accessibility design, the spacing between elements will be followed. In fact, based on some design experience, such design specifications are easier to improve accessibility when the input field is between 32 PX and a height of about 40px.

5. use keyboard shortcuts to simplify user operations

It’s no exaggeration to say that the use of keyboard shortcuts can be saved when necessary, especially for people who can’t do something to help themselves or others. If there is such an application software with similar accessibility design to help them, they will be able to work more effectively. So for them, letting them use more keyboards can make the application experience more comfortable and efficient.

epilogue

Although app accessibility design is very difficult and has some limitations. But these difficulties and limitations can be solved simply by designer’s creativity and innovation. So, in any case, we must keep in mind the accessibility design in application design.

About the author

Author: muditha batagoda

Original link: https://uxplanet.org/making-your-applications-work-for-everyone-c02476df00ff

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