When developing a program designed to be available to everyone, accessibility must be one of the top considerations. However, accessibility is merely a result of the final product. There’s something that might be more suitable: inclusive design, which places a greater emphasis on the actual process of making a product that is entirely user-friendly for the broadest range of people.
Most software development firms are aware that every design decision has the potential to include or exclude users. But with the coronavirus pandemic causing more people to conduct their business online and through digital platforms, companies are now compelled to practice inclusive design to create better products accessible to more people, including those with disabilities.
Let’s explore what inclusive design is and how it can make a difference in the user experience for your audience.
Inclusive design is a principle that aims to provide the best user experience for as many people as possible. As opposed to the “one-size-fits-all” approach, inclusive design produces a diversity of ways to participate so that everyone has a sense of belonging when using your product.
Microsoft, one of the most well-known tech companies in the world right now, treats inclusive design as a methodology. As a leader in software design and manufacturing, Microsoft inclusive design principles focus on identifying exclusions.
A user-centred design process starts by seeking out those exclusions and using them as opportunities to create new ideas and inclusive designs. You need to draw on the full range of human diversity and learn from people with a range of different perspectives. By understanding this, you can find more ways for people to participate in whatever is your software’s primary function.
For example, you designed an app that educates people about different medications and their effects when taken by a person. You need to include written material, infographics, interactive content, videos, and even audio content. All those types of content cover the broadest spectrum of ways for people to participate and consume the content you provided.
To better understand what diversity is, you need to look at the definitions of able-bodied people and disabled people. Your design should be able to accommodate people that belong to both classifications.
However, it’s easy to think of disabilities as blind people or those requiring a wheelchair to move around. While those are certainly considered a disability, there are other forms of it that you should consider when applying inclusive design. Cognitive impairments and physical changes that people undergo with age can also be classified as such.
While accessibility focuses on accommodating differing abilities between people, inclusive design incorporates differing perspectives into the design process. Those perspectives include those of people with disabilities or impairments.
Every person experiences different things, which in turn affects how they interact with the world around them. Those diverse experiences are ingrained in inclusive design principles, resulting in a final product that can accommodate the broadest possible range of experiences.
The point of inclusive design is to make products that benefit all users, regardless of whether they have a disability or impairment. It takes accessibility a step further by making UX designers incorporate diverse perspectives into their design thinking and methodology.
Are you looking for a software development firm that believes in progressive design principles to create quality digital products? Fabric Group is here to help by offering solutions to overcome business challenges. Our group is passionate about delivering value to our customers by employing a unique approach to design. Partner with us today, and let’s start solving problems together.
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