Accessibility User Experience (UX) topic overview/definition
Accessibility: Concept Definition
Accessibility is the ability to access (i.e., use and/or interact with) a product or service. In the design context, accessibility means that a product or service should be able to be used by everyone, regardless of a person’s physical, economic or cultural status. Studies have shown that accessible design benefits not only users with disabilities, but everyone.
Accessibility is related to the concept of usability, but it does not have the same meaning. Usability refers to the extent to which a user can achieve his or her goals with a product, with sufficient comfort and efficiency. When a product has poor usability, the user will experience increased effort or encounter barriers during use. However, when a product is inaccessible, people are excluded from using it altogether, because they cannot interact with it for various reasons.
David Benyon, in his book Designing Interactive Systems, lays out the reasons that people can be excluded from an inaccessible product:
- Physical—e.g., someone does not have the strength to operate a control or cannot read the instructions
- Conceptual—e.g., someone does not understand the user instructions or has a different mental model
- Economic—e.g., someone cannot afford the product
- Cultural—e.g., someone does not understand a metaphor that is used as the basis of the product interaction
- Social—e.g., someone is not part of a social group with whom he/she can interact, or does not understand social conventions once in a group
As accessibility means the difference between a design’s success and its failure at the earliest juncture on the release of a product, it must remain foremost in a designer’s mind. Thus, appreciating the dimensions of its impact vis-à-vis a target audience is vital. Appropriate research can expose the far-reaching intricacies of a potential accessibility problem.
For your convenience, we’ve collected all UX literature that deals with Accessibility. Here’s the full list:
Stand on the shoulders of giants and follow international standards
Design can be very subjective. This leads UX practitioners facing criticism and a lack of credibility when dealing with other more scientific disciplines. Fortunately, you can rely on international standards to refer to and easily bridge the gap. The ISO 9241 Standard for the Ergonomics of Human-System Interaction is directly aligned with...
Understand the Social Needs for Accessibility in UX Design
As UX designers, we have a lot on our plates. The term “UX Unicorn” exists for a reason. We are responsible for our clients’ goals as well as our users’ needs. You might ask then, why should you think about Accessibility in your UX Design process? Imagine going into a design workshop and telling your client that you need more hours to make his...
Learn to Create Accessible Websites with the Principles of Universal Design
“Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning and focused effort.” — Paul J. Meyer, premier international authority on goal setting, motivation, time management, and personal and professional development Accessibility is not the first item we consider when we start designing a w...
Occam’s Razor: The simplest solution is always the best
Now that we appreciate the need for simplicity in designs better, let’s see another great concept. You may have heard of Occam’s Razor; did you know that you can apply it to web design? When you’ve got it in your “toolbox”, you’ll have an edge in the marketplace. Occam’s Razor, put simply, states: “the simplest solution is almost always the bes...
The 7 Factors that Influence User Experience
User Experience (UX) is critical to the success or failure of a product in the market but what do we mean by UX? All too often UX is confused with usability which describes to some extent how easy a product is to use and it is true that UX as a discipline began with usability – however, UX has grown to accommodate rather more than usability and ...
Accessibility: Usability for all
Let’s examine a topic we often take for granted to understand what it’s really about. Doing so, you’ll be able to proceed with a broader appreciation of how users engage your designs. The Overlooked, Misunderstood Nature of AccessibilityAuthor/Copyright holder: WhisperToMe. Copyright terms and licence: Public Domain A design is only useful if ...