Discover more from Shaping Design
You are probably leaving customers behind!?
Unlocking the power of accessibility: Redefining creative processes for success
Here's what you'll learn:
The cost of neglecting accessibility
Why you should design with accessibility
Main principles of accessibility
and much more…
Let’s dive in…
If you are leaving accessibility to the end, you are losing customers. Yes and, you are not helping the industry improve.
Though, I know but it is reality.
Too many designers focus on Trendy designs vs usable and accessible designs.
In today's fast-paced digital world, where innovation and trends often dominate conversations, it's crucial to shift our perspective and prioritize the usability and accessibility of our designs. Too often, designers get caught up in chasing the latest trends, sacrificing the needs of their users in the process. But by doing so, they unknowingly lose valuable customers along the way.
Unfortunately, I've been there and I’ve seen this firsthand. I've worked with a company that thinks this way. Let’s call them Company X.
Imagine this scenario
You're working for Company X which claims they want their products to be used by everyone. They want to be industry leaders and become the most used platforms.
💪 Fair statement and one I could stand behind.
You, as a seasoned designer, understand the significance of great design, designing at scale, design systems, and accessibility, and raise concerns about the color scheme and component choices being inaccessible.
😇 Expectations: Great catch Pascal, we know you have vast experience in this space… let’s reevaluate our designs to ensure we are in fact accessible and our products are actually easy to use.
😬 Reality: Yet, Company X remains fixated on creating the most visually appealing designs in their industry. Color contrast ratios are hard for me to notice. The designers and product managers love the design and consider it perfect as is.
It's a frustrating reality that many of us have encountered, leaving us feeling exasperated and wondering how such oversights continue to persist.
The company is leaving money on the floor.
Internal designers and project managers are NOT the users.
Without being accessible, the company is losing new and existing customers.
More than laws and compliance rules, is it not just human to make sure that our products can be more widely used?
The statistics speak for themselves
Don’t believe me? Let’s look at some stats:
98.1% of home pages had detectable WCAG 2 failures (WebAIM)
97.4% of the top one million websites had accessibility issues on their homepages
15% of the world's population has a disability
40% of people with disabilities have difficulty using the internet
Accessible websites can increase sales by up to 12%
Accessible websites can improve customer satisfaction by up to 80%
Accessible websites provide a better experience for all users. When your website is designed with accessibility in mind, it’s easier for everyone to use.
There are four main principles of accessibility you should consider:
✅ Perceivable: This principle emphasizes that information and user interface components should be presented in a way that users can perceive them.
✅ Operable: The operability principle focuses on making the user interface and navigation of a website or application easy to operate for all users.
✅Understandable: This principle emphasizes the importance of content and functionality being clear and understandable to users.
✅ Robust: The robustness principle focuses on ensuring that the content and functionality of a website or application can be reliably interpreted by a wide range of user agents, including assistive technologies.
What about costs?
There are a number of costs associated with companies not being accessible. These costs can be financial, legal, and reputational.
The United States Census Bureau estimates that 26% of Americans have a disability. This means that there are over 61 million people in the United States who are living with a disability.
Companies that are not accessible can lose out on potential customers and sales. A study by the National Federation of the Blind found that 80% of people with disabilities will not do business with a company that is not accessible.
Companies that are not accessible may be subject to fines and penalties. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) allows people with disabilities to sue companies that are not accessible. The average settlement for an ADA lawsuit is $200,000.
Just some quick stats to show why accessibility should not take the back seat and should be treated with priority.
But we don’t have time?
Don't get me wrong, accessibility should be a top priority for all products but (yes there is a but) I could understand companies, and often start-ups are in the urge to ship stuff.
Instead of doing:
❌ “Let’s create the most accessible platform in the industry. Let’s make sure every component and color used is WCAG 2.1 (AAA) compliant”
Try something like this:
✅ “Let’s design a product in which the foundations of our designs are accessible (i.e. Color contrast ratio and type scales at bare minimum). Let’s make sure that we have accessibility in our roadmap and that we have plans to tackle it as we develop our product.”
At the end of the day, this can be a gradual approach to accessibility. If you design a type input field that is dark on dark and folks without any visually impaired issues are unable to notice the contrast ratio, it will obviously fail for the majority of users. Be smart with your choices.
When your website is designed with accessibility in mind, it’s easier for everyone to use. Think of it like a well-organized library – it’s easier for everyone to find what they’re looking for.
Stop relegating accessibility as an afterthought! Make it the driving force behind your creative process from day one!
Accessibility should be embedded from the very start. If you are not accessible, you are losing customers.
Now go out there and have fun. Explore. Try things out.
Until next time,
Pascal & Mitchell
Hey, Mitchell & Pascal here! Thanks for checking out this week’s free edition of the Shaping Design newsletter. We strive to send you the best tips and our very own unique perspective each week. Subscribe to get each article!
If you enjoy this newsletter, we’d love to know!