Inclusivity is a rapidly growing topic in digital design. No matter what industry your business is in, making sure that your online presence is accessible as well as established is important to your success. In this article we discuss Designing a Website With Inclusivity in Mind.
Having a consumer-friendly website has become more and more important as businesses respond to a consumer base that is increasingly mobile and varied.
The inclusivity and accessibility of your website, both in terms of SEO rankings and its ability to adapt to disability aids, will impact your customer experience.
This aspect of design affects all areas of a website, from the images used to the coding of your landing page.
Universal design helps ensure that potential or established customers of all backgrounds can smoothly use your website.
Building inclusivity into your design may also include changing the type of font you use, or the colors that you select.
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Universal design began as a structural design concept that was applied to physical buildings and rooms, but its concepts can be applied to any designs that are intended for human interaction.
Its seven core principles include focusing on flexibility of use, equitable use, and ease of use. As our day to day has become increasingly digital, these principles are being applied to web design.
Designing for inclusivity in the digital world requires you to understand the needs of those who do not fall into the mainstream.
This ensures that everyone who interacts with your website is comfortable and feels cared for.
This can mean adapting to visibility aids such as screen readers, changing the color and font of the text, or even considering the inclusion of translation services.
Usability for Everyone
By taking the full spectrum of use into consideration, such as mobile devices and disability aids, rather than just standard computer formats, you can also bridge a financial accessibility gap.
As the global poverty rate rises, organizations need to be ready to adapt to a new economic climate where accessibility is key and may be a limited resource.
For those who may not be able to afford an internet connection or a home computer, mobile access becomes a main form of interaction.
By designing with inclusivity in mind, you can ensure that you are making yourself available to clients from all backgrounds and economic standings.
Designing for Accessibility
Accessibility is a twofold mission for businesses. On a foundational level, utilizing proper SEO habits, metadata and keywords will increase the overall accessibility of your website by improving its ranking in web searches.
It will also help ensure that people who are looking for resources in your particular niche can find your less prominent pages, and it will optimize all of your content.
Mobile Use and Disability Aids
Accessibility also means being aware of how people use your website and the impact that aspects of your design will have on the experience of a variety of users.
With the increased use of mobile devices and apps for eCommerce and business transactions, you can begin by ensuring that your website is adaptable to all types of devices by implementing responsive design.
Ensure that your design is functional on all platforms and compatible with disability aids by including quality and functional testing as a part of your process.
If you are building a website with inclusivity in mind, consider the use of screen readers especially. These are aids for those who are visually impaired and reliant on alternative picture text, clearly written and formatted content, and a well-designed user interface.
Ensuring that disability aids are compatible with your website will create the opportunity to develop a deeper connection to your clientele, and even expand your client base.
Accessibility even extends to your basic choice of color. It was recently estimated that there are over 3 million color blind people in the world.
Color blindness affects one out of 12 men and one in 200 women. As you build design elements, consider how a reduced ability to distinguish between colors will affect the readability of your website, with special consideration to the use of reds, blues, and greens.
Approximately 15% of people have dyslexia and it affects people of all backgrounds and nationalities.
In addition to color composition, consider what types of font you use, as certain font types have been found to increase the readability of text for those with dyslexia.
Designing for Algorithms
Another part of designing for inclusivity and accessibility is knowing how to work with algorithms.
This will determine the success of the business as a whole but also affects how people find information on your website.
Begin by evaluating your basic SEO and keyword practices throughout your website.
One of the best ways to make your website accessible and inclusive is to make sure that your metadata reflects what is on the site.
Avoid keyword cramming, because while this may make you more visible across a wide range of searches, it may not increase your visibility to your target demographics.
Make sure to employ text, verbiage, and resources that align with your company’s values, especially if you are in a highly specialized area.
By ensuring that consumers who are looking for your page can find it easily, you have already done part of the work.
You will also want to keep abreast of digital trends, as they are increasingly influencing the success of various businesses. For designers, this is going to be especially challenging, with the rate of change constantly accelerating.
By keeping up with digital trends, designers can keep informed about the current state of affairs with inclusive technology.
However, the current climate demands not only attention but reinvention. By acknowledging both what is necessary, and finding new ways to employ it, you can help move the business forward.
What Inclusivity Means for Businesses
Businesses are becoming more aware of accessibility and catering to a consumer base that has become focused on ease of access and use.
Similarly, the general population is more aware than ever of the challenges those with disabilities face daily.
In a world designed for the able-bodied mainstream, accessible and intuitive web design can make or break many businesses because it is a distinguishing factor.
Inclusivity in business means investigating the way that you have built processes and changing those that aren’t accessible to everyone.
Improved Customer Experience
Businesses live and die from customer experience. Unless you are a cheeky restaurant that capitalizes on your rude waiters, you have to make sure that your customer interactions are smooth, accessible, and inclusive.
In the digital age, this means ensuring that your web design is built with accessibility in mind.
For businesses, inclusive website design isn’t only a matter of customer experience. It defines your values to the public and it impacts whether you retain or lose potential customers.
Studies show that 94% of a customer’s first impression of a company is based on its website. By building a site that is easily readable, accessible to all, and compassionate towards all potential customers, you can create a lasting impression.
Designing the Future
Designing for inclusivity and accessibility is a big task. It involves taking many factors into consideration beyond the needs of the business.
This shift in focus can help you stay ahead of the new trends in accessibility design.
By being educated on the fundamentals of accessibility and inclusion, you can take a huge step towards incorporating it into designs and staying at the forefront of digital development trends.
As eCommerce becomes a core part of businesses, inclusivity concepts become more important. Bridging economic, geographic and accessibility gaps are just a few of the issues that inclusivity addresses.
Incorporating these concepts into your designs can help you create new, inventive, accessible websites that are inclusive to all.
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