As a business you might have products and services catering to a particular target audience. They are people, chosen for their similar characteristics, but as an individual they differ in their abilities and needs. Are your products truly usable by every single one of your target audience. Does your business do Inclusive design to accommodate everyone?
Inclusive Design is a design process in which a product, service or environment is optimised to a specific user and their specific needs. This user is a person whose needs have been overlooked by other design processes, and are referred to as Extreme Users.
Eg: Most zippers have the flap open on the right side, making it difficult for left handed people to zip them open or close. Designing a clothing range with the overlay flap open on the left is inclusive design.
Inclusive Design in Websites:
When we talk of products and services, let us not forget that your website is also a service that your customers access. You are legally bound to make sure your website is convenient and easy to navigate and interact with for every user possible, regardless of their abilities. Here are ways you can have a truly inclusive website from the best web development company in Chennai.
The text has to be in a language that at least a majority of your users can communicate in. Naturally some businesses opt to have a website in English with several offshoot sites in the local languages. The best web development companies in Chennai, adopt a language translate feature where users can toggle between languages on the same site. If you are using any abbreviations and colloquialism, address them with a side note or footnote.
There are a lot of factors that can affect readability of the text to regular people let alone those who are differently abled. The following tips can improve the readability of the website.
- Keep alignment of the text to the left or right.
- Leave ample white space.
- Use line spacing of at least 1.5 times the font size.
- Use paragraph spacing that is at least 1.5 times the line spacing.
- Limit paragraph width to no more than 80 characters.
- Use dark coloured text against light backgrounds and light coloured texts on dark backgrounds. White text with black border usually works well with any background shade.
- Don’t use flashing backgrounds or distracting moving elements that disrupt the flow of text.
- Let pop up messages stay on screen for sufficient time for completely reading them.
- Have a screen read option that is accessed with voice command for users with visual impairments.
Optimise the colour theme:
The colour theme of the website also contributes to how visually appealing it is to users. Certain colours and themes can trigger certain medical conditions. The best web development companies in Chennai do a lot of research into choosing the colours of a website. The colours affect the readability of the text and images. There are colour contrast ratios for each element over background that have been determined to be the most effective.
- Graphics – 3:1
- Form elements – 3:1
- Text – 7:1
Smart Interactive Interface:
Not all users can effectively navigate websites. Some are bound to make mistakes, and the UI must be smart enough to help them correct it. The error could be from absent mindedness, motor, or cognitive disabilities. Website designing companies in Chennai design the interface to compensate for the user. Some tips for inclusive design in this aspect includes:
- Displaying error messages clearly
- Verify option before submitting any data
- Autofill feature on forms for regular users
- Skip to the main content button that is displayed at all times.
Toggle feature for animations:
People with certain cognitive disabilities find fast moving animations or even image carousels confusing. It distracts them from their purpose. Have a toggle feature that allows them to switch them to a static image. Try to avoid flashing animations, but if not at least include provision to switch them off. You can also have users easily dismiss such elements by pressing the Esc key.
Most of the responsibility of making the website inclusive goes to the web developers. Open Designs is a web design and development company in Chennai, well known for our creative web designs. Our developers consciously design the websites to be inclusive at each step of the customer journey. Our work has helped plenty of brands broaden their target audience and boost engagement.