Usability & Accessibility | Keeping Up Without Leaving Users Behind

Usability & Accessibility | Keeping Up Without Leaving Users Behind

There is only one certainty in the world of technology, and that is change. As larger and more diverse groups of people access web content and use mobile applications on an ever-evolving array of devices, developing software can present a two-sided problem: how do you stay ahead of these trends and not alienate your audience?

The conflict between users’ expectations and their desire for clarity has fueled issues of usability since the early days of the web. Strategies for making software easy to learn and understand have evolved over time to adapt to a growing set of tools, but basic principles center on simple concepts like facilitating specific tasks and providing users with options, to help promote inclusiveness in technology.

Thankfully, accessibility standards have been more formalized by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), which provides guidelines for accommodating users with disabilities in terms of both web content and applications. Just as with usability, these protocols focus on creating a consistent, customizable and somewhat predictable experience for everyone.

To a designer, all of this may seem somewhat restricting, but usability and accessibility shouldn’t be seen as enemies of good design -- they ARE good design. If you want to reach people with your idea and hold their attention, producing that objective will be totally dependent on whether users can achieve their goals easily, seamlessly and without any roadblocks.

There are a number of things one can do or consider to make sure that a project is being developed with the proper eye for usability and accessibility, without interrupting the creative flow needed to address issues organically and intuitively:

At Grok Interactive we are presented with unique and interesting challenges that require increasingly nuanced and customized solutions. Our process begins by laying out project details and goals, identifying the users to whom we are speaking, and discussing how they will proceed through key tasks, step by step. We love talking software, so reach out to us anytime to discuss how we can help you bring your idea to life!

Categories: Design, Usability | Tags: Design, Accessiblity, User Flow

Portrait photo for Josh Mathis Josh Mathis

Graphic designer, coffee shop snob, disc golfer, and local musician.

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