How adopting inclusive design can improve your user experience

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In recognition of Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD), TTT Studios is excited to celebrate GAAD’s 11th anniversary by spreading awareness of the significance of accessibility and its value in software solutions.

Accessibility graphic design
Credit: Chris King from dribbble.

Why GAAD matters

With approximately one billion people with disabilities worldwide, GAAD has used its voice to spread awareness of the importance of digital access and inclusion. Despite the current lack of global equity, everyone deserves access to quality digital experiences. And as digital product creators in an innovation studio, we keep our users top of mind while also focusing on inclusivity to ensure each person has the same successful outcome. 

Understanding accessibility in the scope of inclusive design

What is accessibility and inclusive design?

We need to begin the conversation by defining accessibility and inclusive design and their role within software creation. Microsoft states that… 

Designing software for accessibility means ensuring that programs and functionality are easily available to the widest range of users, including those who have disabilities and impairments.

On the other hand, inclusive design is a methodology formed from diverse human experiences, drawing on different perspectives to learn and improve. The two indeed correlate with one another, but it’s important to distinguish that accessibility meets a set of standards within the scope of an overall inclusive design approach. 

To paint a picture, here’s a recent design example from TTT’s Dribbble portfolio showcasing how visual graphics should use custom colour palettes for a more accessible design in order to cater to all users – Check out the design below!

Credit: Raymond Chou of TTT Studios.

Why adopting inclusive design benefits everyone

Design plays a significant role in where inclusion and diversity are heading within the digital ecosystem. Adopting diverse human perspectives can take your software design to the next level. Some key benefits of adopting inclusive design include: 

  • Creating innovative user experiences
  • Increasing accessibility
  • Building an empathetic approach 

It’s important to realize that accessibility impacts everyone; we all have abilities and limitations to those abilities. Microsoft Design adopts a Persona Spectrum that illustrates the motivations across a spectrum of permanent, temporary, and situational scenarios. Based on the illustration below, disabilities can vary heavily, and they’re not always apparent. Each scenario displays a diverse set of people with different experiences but opportunities for similar solutions. 

Microsoft's inclusive design persona spectrum.
Caption: Microsoft Design’s Persona Spectrum.

Designing for accessibility tips

I want to offer a short set of tips designers should consider when creating their solutions. These guidelines are to ensure your product is meeting user accessibility standards.

  1. Colour contrast
    • Designs should always meet the appropriate contrast ratio. Users should be able to distinguish between foreground and background. 
    • Review WCAG’s guidelines for a detailed understanding of the importance of contrast ratio and appropriate design etiquette. 
    • To learn more about the significance of colour in design, check out our blog post on why Colour matters.
    • Below is a video demo of our recent Dribbble design showcasing colour contrast capabilities.

      Colour contrast key

  2. Images
    • Ensure you’re adding alt-texts to your images to meet accessibility standards. Alt-texts can assist those experiencing visual impairments to process images on your webpage. 
    • However, make sure that decorative images use null alt (empty) attribute values.
    • Here’s a video demo of our recent Dribbble design showcasing how to use alt-texts properly.



  3. Videos
    When aiming to achieve accessibility standards for your videos, there are a few items one should consider:
    • Include audio descriptions to narrate what occurs on screen. Audio descriptions can assist viewers with visual impairments in understanding what’s happening on screen. 
    • Include transcripts of your videos. Transcripts allow people who cannot hear to understand the audio content, it also allows people to digest audio content at a comfortable pace.
    • Here’s a demo of our recent Dribbble design showcasing audio description and transcript capabilities.

      Two dogs running on a beach.

      Two dogs running on a beach.

These are just some of the many tips designers can implement to achieve accessibility standards. It’s important to remember that following accessibility guidelines can be helpful to anyone at different times. 

How TTT Studios adopts inclusive design

At TTT Studios, accessibility is essential to deliver on our vision to create software that impacts a billion lives. And as a designer at TTT, our processes are human-centered. We consider supporting evidence and diverse perspectives in our user testing and research to ensure we’re designing a delightful user experience for everyone. As we continue to innovate and create, our digital solutions will embody inclusivity.    

About TTT Studios

TTT is a Vancouver-based award-winning Digital Innovation Studio focused on creating digital solutions for more than 200 clients around the world. Working with industry leaders and disruptors, we solve our client’s most complex problems, shaping their businesses through technology.

For more information on TTT Studios, please visit: ttt.studio.

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