When it comes to creating user-centric graphic designs, most of the brands follow the method of creating designs which target an exclusive group of audience. This target audience group is created largely on the basis of the user demographic such as age, gender, ethnicity, religion, occupation, etc.
While this approach is commonly used and considered to be the appropriate method to execute successful branding of products and services for a company, it tends to miss out on a wide section of the audience with an opportunity to expand the customer base.
This section comprises people with some of the other kind of disability or impairment.
In this article, today, we’ll discuss a very crucial topic of creating inclusive designs for your brand in order to ensure that those with even minor impairments are not excluded from consideration and get the same user experience as any other user.
Essentially, an inclusive design refers to a method of design focused on making sure that everybody – regardless of their relative impairments – can access and use a company’s products or services. In other words, it ensures that regardless of their situation, people will never be discriminated against or otherwise prevented from accessing a brand’s products or services in any way.
Inclusive designs focus on the diversity of people rather than simply stopping at the demographics. This user diversity segmentation covers variation in capabilities, needs, and aspirations.
With increasing age, most people experience multiple minor impairments in:
An inclusive approach to design can help brands seize important opportunities for business growth through new products and services that are accessible to all segments of the market. Businesses who are not designing for those living with impairments are missing out on whole subsections of their potential customer base – as well as the potentially vast revenues that come with it.
The techniques used for creating inclusive designs are not very different from that of creating a user-centric design. The basic principles of graphic design are applied in both.
But, instead of focusing only on the potential users, the inclusive design seeks out extreme users – the sorts of people who will demand the most from a product or service.
For example, let’s say you want to design a company brochure that has information that could be useful for your target audience. Now, you may use fancy font styles and sizes, as well as contrasting colors to make it attractive. So, what if a potential customer gets hold of one of your brochures but, simply couldn’t absorb the content because of some visual or reading impairment?
You just lost a customer who could have easily been loyal to your brand – and maybe a promoter – simply because you did not consider including such an audience group in your design plan.
This clearly shows why it is important for businesses to consider creating inclusive designs for their brands to target extreme users group.
Creating inclusive designs largely means providing an accessible experience to as many people as possible.
So, let’s say you want to begin by creating an inclusive design for your website. One of the first things you can do to make your website easily accessible by physically impaired users is avoiding demanding precision inputs when browsing your website.
Include larger, spaced out interactive areas to ensure your users can navigate around your site without undue difficulty. Additionally, your website should be fully navigable via keyboard or speech only use.
Also, it is highly advised to use sufficient and clearly made video and audio content hosted on the website; with appropriate subtitles/transcriptions.
In addition to all these, it is important to understand that impairments are not just about those which affect in the long term. There are also “situational impairments”!
Situation impairments are when people have difficulties using technology due to the situation or context they are in, rather than something they are born with.
It could be the background noise in a public place making it more difficult for someone to hear, poor lighting making it harder to see, and a lack of space impairing the ability to physically interact with the design, etc.
A great example of inclusive design in this regard is Facebook’s video function on its mobile app. The company recognized that the majority of users browsing the app are likely to be in a public setting (such as on their morning commute) and so their hearing is likely to be impaired due to the background noise.
To help users who might be in these noisy environments, Facebook designed their videos to autoplay without sound and with captions turned on by default, to compensate for this situational impairment.
It may sound an emotionally-charged practice but, even if we put aside the obvious ethical arguments for creating inclusive designs, the opportunity to create a solid brand name as well as the enormous commercial benefits of reaching as many customers as possible cannot be sidelined.
Considering the consistent rise in the average age of our population and the paradigm shift of businesses from offline to online space, there has never been a better time for brands to embrace inclusive design.
And if there was ever a time for your business to take the plunge and work towards creating a more accessible web offering, it’s now.
We very well understand that for a company that has never considered creating inclusive designs before, it can seem to be a daunting task. However, it doesn’t have to be a complex project.
You can trust the skills and knowledge of our expert designers at GraphicsZoo to help you create helpful inclusive designs for your business. We are easily reachable at firstname.lastname@example.org