But while inclusive design focuses more on the processes a designer should follow, accessible design is targeted more towards the outcome of a website or app.
Can a person with visual impairments read your text?
Can people who live in rural areas get onto your website with slow signal or old technology? If not, why not?
And how will you improve this?
To give you an idea on how to create inclusive and accessible digital services, our team point towards the Microsoft accessibility toolkit – it’s a great resource for designers who want to boost their skills in this area, but also for companies wanting to understand more about how they could improve.
It outlines five practises that all designers should consider when building a website or app. These include:
Get orientated: Equip yourself with everything you need
Frame: Learn from different points of view and apply these to the bigger design picture
Ideate: Come up with ideas, explore any potential problems, and figure out how a human being is meant to interact and behave with your design
Iterate: Build and test prototypes of your inclusive design
Optimise: Review what you’ve done from every angle and find ways to measure the success of your design
It’s also vital that designers consider a user’s personal characteristics and situations, their digital capabilities and their access needs too.
Looking at the full picture, teams must demonstrate how a service is built where assistive technology can be used, but other circumstances must be considered. These include:
a person’s location – if they’re trying to use your services in a noisy or sunny location, or if they are in a place with slow internet connection
health – they may have broken their arm or suffer with any number of conditions
equipment – they may be using older technology
project-dependent characteristics – things like age, gender, race, religion, etc