Is your app accessible? How to design for everyone

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There are over 14 million disabled folks within the UK – a quantity that’s as a result of rise with our getting older inhabitants. Over the past 12 months, because the UK has struggled by means of lockdowns and isolation, many have turned to apps for important each day wants – discovering out important information and data, well being providers, socialising, even leisure. 

Is your app accessible? The right way to design for everybody?

However sadly there are nonetheless individuals who nonetheless unable to interact with apps, that means they now face an elevated digital isolation. A latest survey by RiDC (Analysis Institute for Disabled Shoppers) discovered that though most (90%) of disabled folks have downloaded an app, over 1 / 4 have had issue accessing or utilizing one. With nearly half of those folks (44%) then occurring to uninstall or delete it. 

The commonest accessibility points associated to downloading and organising, not supporting assistive expertise, crowded shows, filling in types and registering and poor textual content dimension or font.

‘I would love it if (when filling in types) I may converse my e mail handle into it and different particulars. (Filling it in manually) is hard as a result of generally my arms get spasms and I find yourself urgent letters or phrases I don’t wish to.’  

‘Too many colors make it complicated for me… and when the distinction between the background and the writing isn’t very clear.’  

  Dr Wesley Scott, a participant within the survey who has cerebral palsy and studying disabilities together with dyslexia. 

With the spending energy of disabled folks estimated at £249 million a 12 months to UK  enterprise, there may be a considerable amount of customized for app builders to be lacking out on.

Fortunately, it’s a downside simply solved.

If you consider designing for all folks from the start of the design course of you then received’t miss anybody out. Or, if you have already got an app developed, get it reviewed and user-tested by a variety of people that can supply their insights on potential downside areas and options. Lots of the modifications is perhaps easier to make or embody than you assume, and others could spotlight choices you had by no means considered.

RiDC has a protracted historical past of consulting the members of their panel on expertise and app use, and has facilitated a variety of latest usability testing workshops on apps. Listed here are our prime ten areas to contemplate when designing and bettering apps.

Obtain and set-up

  • Contemplate if the app is straightforward to seek out and obtain from the app retailer
  • Are clear directions offered all through the entire set-up course of?
  • May the set-up contain much less steps? The easier, the higher.

Help for assistive expertise

Many customers have assistive expertise already put in on their very own gadget, and the app ought to be capable to hyperlink into this, so the consumer can entry the options they want whereas utilizing it.

  • A number of the mostly used are screen-readers corresponding to Voiceover and Talkback, zoom and magnification options and different enhancements corresponding to enlarged textual content dimension, distinction, color inversion. Can the app assist these?

Means to customise

  • Customers with visible impairments or color blindness ought to be capable to modify the textual content dimension or change the color distinction within the app’s settings
  • Are customers additionally capable of customise the app’s structure and selected what data is exhibited to them?

Constant structure

An excessive amount of data on a web page or too many alternative methods of claiming issues could make it tougher for somebody to know what they should do or know.

  • Buttons and icons which might be repeated throughout totally different pages must be offered in a constant structure
  • Look to make the association of on-screen parts the identical throughout totally different display sizes and orientations (portrait and panorama)


It’s straightforward to deal with the type and look of the app however this could possibly be stopping the app from being utilized by a cohort of individuals. Make performance the precedence to make sure you’re not blocking any potential customers.

  • Use a minimal deign for the apps’ interface and keep away from pointless parts (e.g. a number of graphics) that might intrude with its performance
  • Don’t crowd the interface with too many graphics or data
  • Guarantee vital on-screen parts are clearly seen with out the necessity to scroll

Clearly displayed buttons and data

  • Use good color contrasting between textual content or icons and the background (i.e. at least 4:5:1) Does this distinction assist customers in several lighting situations (e.g. glare from the solar)?
  • Buttons, icons and pictures must be clearly offered and labelled with textual content
  • Buttons should be giant, with spacing between them (a minimum of 9mm tall by 9mm huge) for customers to focus on them by contact
  • Buttons positioned the place they are often simply reached when holding the gadget in several orientations (i.e. portrait or panorama)

Easy touchscreen gestures

Many individuals stay with a well being situation, or just outdated age which may have an effect on their capability to carry issues nonetheless or make very focused gestures with their fingers.

  • Easy faucet or swiping gestures are simpler than sustained holding for folks with dexterity impairments or hand tremors
  • Guarantee customers are capable of simply return and repair their errors if they’ve carried out unintentional gestures
  • Give customers the selection of utilizing different gestures to assist their dexterity wants

Straightforward to enter data

  • Present the consumer with a selection of information entry types (e.g. choose menus, radio buttons, test bins or autofill), as a substitute of textual content bins solely. This provides extra manageable choices for customers corresponding to these with visible, dexterity and studying impairments as inputting textual content could possibly be difficult.
  • Embody the flexibility to enter numbers and textual content in alternative routes (e.g. speech enter, Bluetooth keyboard, face ID)

Suggestions for the consumer

  • The app ought to inform the consumer that the motion they’ve carried out has taken impact. For instance, after they faucet or swipe on one thing does it may them know what has modified – both visually or by means of audio tones or haptic suggestions
  • Does the app present sufficient indication to assist the consumer recognise, diagnose and recuperate from errors?

Ease of understanding

  • Make buttons, icons and pictures to be simply recognised and understood with out customers needing to depend on reminiscence
  • Is it clear which options of the app enable customers to carry out sure actions?
  • Are all customers capable of simply perceive the data offered?

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