Designing for Global Accessibility

Google’s User Experience researchers Nithya Sambasivan and Astrid Weber discuss the principles behind building globally accessible products.

In our three-part series, Google’s User Experience researchers Astrid Weber and Nithya Sambasivan discuss the principles behind building globally accessible products, and offer practical resources for the design and development community. In Part I, they outline how designers and developers can increase their awareness of accessibility issues. Part II explores critical logistical considerations. In part three, they discuss how designers and developers can make tactical UX decisions to create universally inclusive apps.

Part I: Awareness is everything

 

Here in part one, we’ll outline how designers and developers can increase their own awareness around accessibility issues by checking assumptions around users, use cases, and use contexts. By setting out to gain a more nuanced understanding of users’ needs, we can move towards technologies that serve the largest, most diverse audience.

  • What exactly is global accessibility? And what does it have to do with design?
  • Learn about global user communities and how they use technology
  • Be mindful about representing users inclusively
  • Accommodate different levels of literacy and many different languages
  • Empower your users when it comes to privacy, safety, and security

Learn more: Designing for accessibility – Part 1

 

Part II: Context matters

 

Here in part two, they’ll explore why it’s critical to consider logistics—like network cost and reliability, different generations and models of devices, and accessibility settings during the design process, and how understanding those broader factors will expand your app’s usability and usefulness.

  • Build greater user experiences for modest devices
  • Ensure that your app functions seamlessly in intermittent networks––and when offline
  • Keep usage costs low
  • Treat accessibility settings as critical, not just as a checklist

Learn more: Designing for accessibility – Part II

 

Part III: Be inclusive by default

 

Learn how designers and developers can make tactical UX decisions to create universally inclusive apps.

  • Consider environmental contrasts like sun and shade
  • Color has meaning—use it wisely
  • Design for various screen conditions and input abilities
  • Go big

Learn more: Designing for accessibility – Part III