Today, inclusivity has become a real trend in our everyday life. It is an attempt to include as many different types of people as possible. Web design is especially closely connected with this notion as websites are created FOR people. For ALL people to be more specific. So, what are the principles of inclusive web design?
Simple = Intuitive
Websites should be designed in such a way that everyone can understand how to use it, where to find the information, how to pay, how to buy, how to turn on/off the video and so on. Users do not like to learn how to do all that. They want to do it right now without losing time. No matter what background they have: age, education, gender, occupation, income, physical abilities.
At the moment the IT sector is developing at the highest speed that we have ever seen. Every day we see new apps, solutions, designs, changes in everything that is connected with the use of the internet, PC, gadgets, and devices. Only the trends that are most convenient and helpful for users can survive. But they change rapidly as well. So, you and your team should be ready for the fact that you will have to change your website a lot. It is not enough to do it only once. What is good and accessible today is inconvenient and out of fashion tomorrow.
It is not a secret today that websites should be suitable for all the existing devices. The main idea of this principle is that on all of the devices the website should give users equally valuable experience and results. It means that it should be equally easy and convenient to shop both using your laptop and your mobile phone. It seems that the whole world can be hidden in our small but smart gadgets =)
The notion of perceptibility is a vast one =) Some people better perceive written information, others prefer listening, someone would prefer a video. As we all are different, websites should use several ways of communicating with the users. Yes, that might be a challenging task but still, that is what can contribute to inclusivity.
Each user has their own idea of how to interact with your website and how to get the information they are interested in. So let the users interact with your website the way they want to find what they are looking for. This is how your website may become informative. Let`s say there should be an ability to find the same information on the main menu, via the search box, and in the FAQ. Each person will choose the best way.
The idea is that you can prevent your users from making mistakes on your website thus saving their time. A good example is a warning message saying that you need to choose other symbols for your password, or a message saying that the number of symbols is incomplete. That is good support for your users. They do not have to wrack their brain trying to find out what was wrong and why the registration was not successful.
Be rational in using space. Your website should neither be empty nor too crowded. There should be a golden mean. Lack of content is confusing: is that all or should there be something else that is still loading? Exessive content is confusing as well: users get lost and do not know what to do first. They may lose the content they really need.
These are the main principles of inclusive web design. I hope this information will help you improve your website or app. What are the most important ones for you? Please share your opinion.
Have a nice day!
Bradley Nice, Content Manager at ClickHelp.com — best online documentation tool for SaaS vendors