Designing Accessible Applications: Digital Inclusivity
Is good design all about empathizing with the users? Yes, this is our approach. At Qodeca we strive to create a more inclusive world by designing technology that meets the needs of all individuals, irrespective of their physical, sensory, or cognitive abilities. Being WCAG compliant is not only a legal requirement nowadays but also something we can all benefit from. For example, captions in videos not only help deaf people understand them but also make it easier for non-native speakers to follow along. Some accommodations might also help people with temporary disabilities and we know that can happen to anyone! On top of it all, making your application accessible can improve your SEO (search engine optimization), as search engine crawlers use pretty much the same logic as screen readers.
Creating an accessible application from scratch is easier than fixing the existing one, but it doesn’t mean you have to start all over. Instead, we always start with an Accessibility Audit to evaluate the current solution and provide detailed recommendations on fixing the issues.
How do we check if an application is accessible?
- At Qodeca, we use automated accessibility testing tools to check for potential accessibility issues in our applications.
- We also review the code of our applications to identify any potential accessibility issues and make appropriate changes.
- To ensure that all features of our applications are accessible, we manually test them using assistive technology such as screen readers, voice commands, and alternative input methods.
- We conduct usability testing with individuals who have disabilities to see if they can use our applications effectively.
- At Qodeca, we use color contrast checking tools to ensure that all text and visual elements have sufficient contrast for easy visibility.
- We also make sure that all multimedia content in our applications, such as videos and podcasts, have captions and transcripts.
- To guarantee that our applications are accessible for everyone, we check that all features can be accessed using only a keyboard, and that keyboard focus is clearly visible.
- At Qodeca, we check if our applications meet established accessibility guidelines, such as the Mobile Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (MWCA) or Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), to ensure that they meet industry standards for accessibility.
While all businesses can gain from having an accessible app, for some industries accessible applications can be especially beneficial, like healthcare, finance, education and retail. After all, approximately 15% of the world’s population (so around 1 billion people) live with some form of disability, many of those people use the internet regularly for communication, work, and daily tasks. Accessible applications can attract customers who may have previously been excluded from using a product or service, and can help build a reputation for inclusivity and social responsibility.
How to take it a step further and gain a competitive edge in the market?
- Voice Control - Designing an app to include voice control functionality enables users to use it without relying on touch or manual input. This can be particularly beneficial for users with physical disabilities or those who are visually impaired.
- Reduce Reliance on gestures - Gestures can be hard to perform for some users, by designing an app with alternative ways to navigate and interact with the interface, such as through buttons or voice commands, we can accommodate users with different needs.
- High Contrast Mode - High contrast mode is a great option for users who have visual impairments or color blindness, allowing them to adjust the colors and contrast levels to suit their needs better.
One of the most exciting benefits of creating an accessible application is that it allows us to build a stronger connection with users. By actively seeking feedback and input from users, we can gain a deeper understanding of their needs and preferences and use this knowledge to improve continuously over time. This not only helps to ensure that the application is accessible to all users but also shows that we genuinely care about their experiences and are committed to creating an inclusive and welcoming environment for all.
Inclusive design is more than just a checkbox - it’s a mindset. At Qodeca, we believe in embracing this mindset and striving to be leaders in inclusive design. By partnering with us, you can demonstrate your commitment to creating products that are accessible to all users. Let’s work together to make accessibility a priority.
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