As a web developer or business owner, it’s your legal and moral responsibility to ensure that your websites and apps are accessible and deliver the highest-quality experience possible, whatever the user’s ability.

According to data from Europea, around 80 million people in the European Union currently have a disability. Still, research from AbilityNet suggests that a whopping 90% of websites are inaccessible to people with disabilities who rely on assistive technology (AbilityNet).

It’s also worth noting that accessibility lawsuits and litigation increased by as much as 181%, suggests data from ( and that 98.1% of home pages had detectable WCAG 2 failures (WebAIM). Simply put, more needs to be done to improve accessibility.


What is UX accessibility?

Let’s start with the basics: what actually is user experience accessibility?

In short, it’s about developing products and experiences (apps, websites) in a way that makes them as usable and accessible to as many people are possible. Failing to prioritise accessibility could mean that you’re isolating millions of people from your website or app.


Accessibility vs. Usability

Although it’s common to see accessibility and usability used interchangeably, it’s important to understand the differences. Accessibility isn’t a feature but a fundamental component that underscores the inclusivity of design practices. Usability, on the other hand, is about ensuring that your customers and users can accomplish their objectives efficiently, with minimal confusion or friction.

Both accessibility and usability share the common goal of enhancing the user experience, but they cater to different aspects of user interaction. Usability is generally about the ease and intuitiveness of the entire user base, while accessibility focuses on ensuring that people with disabilities are not left behind in the digital landscape.


Accessibility elements to consider

If you’re looking to increase the accessibility of your app, there’s a lot you need to consider.

  • Visual Accessibility: Think about ways you can improve the design elements of your app to support those with visual impairments.
  • Auditory Accessibility: Those with hearing impairments may struggle to hear any video or audio content you create, so protocols should be put in place to support this.
  • Motor Accessibility: Try to facilitate easier interaction for those with motor impairments.
  • Cognitive Accessibility: Research ways to make your content comprehensible for individuals with cognitive challenges.
  • Speech Accessibility: Addressing the needs of users with speech impairments. For apps with voice controls, for example, ensure alternative methods are available.


How to build with accessibility first

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) offer a robust framework for making digital content more accessible. Speak to your developer and look at ways to follow these guidelines to ensure a wider usability spectrum for your products. It’s also worth speaking to other UX designers who prioritise accessibility to offer valuable insights and best practices.

Many users with disabilities rely on keyboards for navigation, so design your apps and websites with keyboard accessibility in mind. And make sure you’re addressing the needs of individuals with various impairments, not just a select few. Finally, test your software with a focus group that includes users with disabilities. This feedback is invaluable in refining your approach to ensure it caters to a diverse user base.


Wrapping up 

While usability and accessibility in UX design are interlinked, they address different facets of user experience. A holistic approach integrates both, ensuring that digital products are not only user-friendly and intuitive but also accessible to all, embodying the true essence of inclusivity in design. Reach out to the team at Zudu today if you need support.

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