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Designing accessible services

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Designing for users on the autistic spectrum

Do:

  • Use simple colours
  • Write in plain English
  • Use simple sentences and bullets
  • Make buttons descriptive
  • Build simple and consistent layouts

Don't:

  • Use bright contrasting colours
  • Use figures of speech and idioms
  • Create a wall of text
  • Make buttons vague and unpredictable
  • Build complex and cluttered layouts

Designing for users with cognitive disabilities

Do:

  • Let users have control of the contrast and colours onthe screen
  • Align text to the left, keep a consistent layout and use a sans-serif font at a min 12pt
  • Keep content short, clear and simple
  • Use images and diagrams to support text and complex ideas
  • Use simple colours and coloured paper like yellow or pink
  • Use multi-modal materials like audio and video

Don't:

  • Overload the user with too much info at once
  • Write large walls of complex text
  • Use complicated words or figures of speech
  • Increase cognitive load by requiring users to recall into
  • Use bright and contrasting colours stimulation overload
  • Rush users or set short time limits to complete tasks

Designing for users who are deaf or hard of hearing

Do:

  • Write in plain language
  • Use subtitles or provide transcripts for videos
  • Use a linear, logical layout
  • Break up content with sub-headings, images and videos
  • Let users ask for their preferred communication support when booking appointments

Don't:

  • Use complicated words or figures of speech
  • Put content in audio or video only
  • Make complex layouts and menus
  • Make users read long blocks of content
  • Make telephone the only means of contact for users

Designing for users with low vision

Do:

  • Use good colour contrast and a readable font size
  • Publish all information on web pages
  • Use a combination of colour, shapes and text
  • Follow a linear, logical layout
  • Put buttons and notifications in context

Don't:

  • Use low colour contrasts and small font sizes
  • Bury information in downloads
  • Only use colour to convey meaning
  • Spread content all over a page
  • Separate actions from their context

Designing for users with physical or motor disabilities

Do:

  • Make large clickable actions
  • Give form fields space
  • Design for keyboard or speech only use
  • Design with mobile and touchscreen in mind
  • Provide shortcuts

Don't:

  • Demand precision
  • Bunch interactions together
  • Make dynamic content that requires a lot of mouse movement
  • Have short time out windows
  • Tire users with lots of typing and scrolling

Designing for users of screenreaders

Do:

  • Describe images and provide transcripts for video
  • Follow a linear logical layout
  • Structure content using HTML5
  • Build for keyboard use only
  • Write descriptive links and headings

Don't:

  • Only show information in an image or video
  • Spread content all over a page
  • Rely on text size and placement for structure
  • Force mouse or screen use
  • Write uninformative links and headings
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