In recent years, there’s been an upward trend in designing websites that focus on better digital experiences that also address their users’ needs. As the world continues its steady march towards digital transformation, better design practices like inclusivity are also becoming an essential part of business and marketing. 

From outreach marketing ideas and social media to web design and development, inclusive design principles can be applied to everything we do to let more people enjoy a better digital experience.

What Is Inclusive Design?

Inclusive web design aims to provide the best user experience for as many people as possible. Instead of using a one-size-fits-all approach for so-called “average users,” inclusive web design targets a diverse range of people. 

It starts by identifying exclusions or what some people call “edge cases.” These are people with the rarest or most extreme needs that make them different because of their age, gender, language, or ability. As Microsoft puts it, inclusive design principles should

  • recognize exclusion;
  • solve for one, extend to many; and
  • learn from diversity.

Once you know how inclusive design is created and applied, you should consider the following steps to integrate inclusivity into your own website.

  1. Optimize Your Website for Screen Readers

Visually impaired individuals often rely on screen readers whenever they navigate the web. Screen readers are devices that convert written text into synthesized speech so that users know what they are supposed to be looking at. They also provide context about the elements on a web page. To optimize your site for screen readers, you may use the following:

  • Alt-Text: these are descriptive text for every image on your website.
  • ARIA Attributes: use ARIA attributes to describe the role of page elements
  • HTML Language: use the HTML language attribute to define the language of your page.
  • Semantic Elements: through semantic elements in HTML, you can provide basic contextual information that’s useful to screen readers.
  • Links: Linked text should be relatively short, but large enough in size so the user can easily aim and click it.
  1. Create Visual and Text Layouts for Dyslexic Users

Designing for users with dyslexia puts more emphasis on making all the information on your website as readable as possible. This involves text sizes, colors, and typography that are clear enough to avoid any confusion. Some good design principles for dyslexic users include:

  • Large text
  • Colors with strong contrast
  • Responsive font-size units in case the user wants to make them larger
  • Avoid using serif fonts
  • Use bold formatting for emphasis instead of italics and underlining
  • Keep sentences and paragraphs short
  • Use plenty of white space
  • Use bullet points and lists when necessary
  1. Reduce the Number of Clicks Needed When Completing Actions

Designing for people with motor impairments is also important. One way to accommodate this is by reducing the number of clicks required to complete actions on your website. Every click may be physically demanding for people with motor conditions, so it’s imperative that you lessen that burden by reducing clicks. 

  1. Provide Descriptive Captions and Transcriptions for Video

Despite most content and websites online being a visual form of media, marketers and web designers should put captions on videos. Captions provide a text substitute for spoken dialogue as well as contextual sounds that the viewer benefits from understanding.

Create text transcripts for all video content so people with hearing impairments can read the transcripted version instead of the video itself. Other users could also benefit from the transcription as they can go back and take notes about the video you posted. 

Conclusion

Inclusivity and accessibility are becoming increasingly popular as more digital marketers and developers embrace this new set of principles. By creating more inclusive experiences on the web, we allow accessibility to become a core function of our digital process. It may sound like a few extra steps, but it will ultimately benefit everyone, including the users, customers, marketers, and business owners. If you need help applying inclusive design principles on your website, turn to Krafted Digital, a full-service digital marketing agency and an expert in web design based in Miami.

Krafted Digital is a full-service digital marketing firm based out of Miami, Florida. At Krafted Digital, we specialize in developing custom-tailored, innovative, data-driven online marketing solutions for small businesses to Fortune 500 brands. Click here to contact us today