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What is accessible interface design?

Sheza Naveed

An accessible interface design is the one that is accessible to all users, including the ones with low vision, hearing impairments, or any other impairment. Accessibility allows all people to interact and use interfaces.

The following guidelines can assist in making the interface more accessible:

  1. Clear purpose - have distinct calls to action and minimal and clear user interface (UI). The more the UI elements present, the more complicated the interface is.
Source: Material Design

The key elements should be visible with clear contrast, size and hierarchy

  1. Robustness - the app should be designed to accommodate a variety of users. Each user should navigate through the app, access the app (using appropriate labels for buttons, etc.), and understand how to perform tasks through visual cues and signposts.
Source: Material Design
  1. Color and contrast - color and contrast should help users see and understand the interface’s content. Contrast ratios represent the difference between two colors. They are mostly written as 1:1 or 21:1. The more the difference between the ratio of the two numbers, the more is the difference in the relative luminance between the colors.
Source: Material Design

It is advisable to use a primary color, a primary variant and a secondary color.

Source: Material Design

Elements in a disabled state are exempt from color contrasts e.g., buttons, inactive menus etc.

Source: Material Design

However, color alone should not be relied upon, as it will not be inclusive towards color blind people. We can add variations to the UI to make it more accessible for all. As shown below, the ticks and cross convey the message for people are color blind:

Source: cruxcollaborative

In conclusion, one should think of people while designing to ensure that it is accessible to all.

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Sheza Naveed
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