Accessibility Guidelines For A UX Designer Part 1- Content and Structure

Sshekhar Jha
September 18, 2022

As a UX designer, you need to know that UX is a pivotal component of creating a design that is accessible to all who interact with an interface, irrespective of disabilities. Your UX design philosophy should intrinsically include provisions for creating layouts that aid design accessibility and consciously try to work on elements such as colours, font, and such that further that effort to create a truly accessible design experience.

We’re going to break down all the separate contributors into a multi-part blog series. For this part, we shall focus on content and structure and how to ingratiate these elements into a consciously accessible design layout.

But how do the content and structure of your website help in making your users’ experience more inclusive? In this article, we shall have a look at a few such points:

Understand Accessibility

Before you set about creating a design that is accessible, you’ll need to understand what accessibility really is. It starts with empathy for your end user. Using that as a foundation, you build a design that people with all kinds of abilities can access and interact with.

Be thorough with the WCA guidelines and the different levels that those guidelines outline. That shall help you in the future, too, in case you’re building a UX for a specific use case.

Colour Use

Try not to go all out with your use of colours. Non-verbal communication can be done in a variety of ways, and using texts, symbols and other objects that graphically convey some information or instruction should also be used in your layout.

It benefits people with colour blindness, partial sight and those who rely solely on text to interact with a web interface.

Navigational and Component Consistency

You’ve to make sure that in case you’re repeating certain components, those components appear in the same order on all the other pages as well. This is so that people with cognitive limitations have an easy time locating certain things on different pages.

Components that serve the same function should maintain a degree of consistency. It is advisable that you maintain some sort of systemic design, a library of specific patterns or a style guidebook to refer back to. 

Maintaining the same functionality for components on different pages helps users identify those components and mentally tie them up to the functionality that it’s meant for. 

Use Of Headings

As underrated as it may be, using a page title that is informative is very beneficial to people with short-term memories, low vision or someone who has difficulty reading too many words at a time.

Multiple Access Paths

You have to ensure that there is always more than one way that a person can locate a specific web page on your website. It helps to locate information quicker and aids people who are cognitively limited or visually impaired.

These are some ways in which content and structure of your website aid design accessibility and inclusivity. We shall touch upon more factors in future blogs.

#accessibledesign #accessibleux

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