The power of sight varies from person to person. Design and marketing need to keep accessibility in mind when creating both print and web projects.
With 285 million blind people in the world and add on that over 300 million people in the world who are color blind. You have a very large population that needs to be considered. In this post, most suggestions relate to digital design, but you can take the advice for print materials as well in order to increase readership.
Commercial design is our business, so there are times to check the ‘artist’ design concept at the art gallery. Help clients create engaging designs that include a wider audience.
6 Accessibility Design Tips:
- Color Contrast: it’s important to ensure that your audience can clearly see a difference between the copy and the background.
- Re-think highlighting. Don’t depend on color to bring emphasis to design elements. Incorporate patterns and alternate weights of the text, even underlining.
- Incorporate audio. The benefits of digital are the technology that has been developed to translate/readers for those who can’t depend on their sight. So when you think of developing a website or exporting a PDF to share, make sure that your copy is in readable text form so technology can pick up the slack for you.
- Online forms. Skip the minimalist style of using placeholder text as the label for a form. It is normally light and grey in colour and therefore low contrast for users.
- Alternative text for images. Not only should your process for uploading images incorporate text in the file name, but also utilize the alt-text function and describe the image itself.
- Support keyboard navigation. Looking at creating a PDF form to fill? Make sure the order of the tab from field to field makes sense and the end-user isn’t’ jumping from one end of the form to the next. Same thing with online functionality in websites.
What you may notice at the end of all these adjustments is the improvement in readability for those without limitations as well. Design for the masses, taken up a notch.
Written by Crystal Reynolds