Importance of accessibility and usability for a UX designer

ADMEC Multimedia > UX Design > Importance of accessibility and usability for a UX designer

Hey there, I hope you are doing alright. Its admin from ADMEC Multimedia Institute and in this blog we will discuss a very important topic that is one importance of accessibility and usability for a UX designer and we will also see what makes a good UI tick. Bear with me for the moment.

UX

UX is the complete experience that a user has while indulging with a design. It is everywhere; it has its importance for each type of design.

It’s very crucial. Let’s take an example:

Say you visited a website and it had lots and lots of animation but you couldn’t find what you were looking for and then checked the other site. Now this site didn’t have that savvy style it was simple, easy to get and you got what you were looking for. 

You get where I am going with this, you may never visit the other site and is possible review the experience you had but you’ll definitely visit the other site. 

Bad user experience means you’ll lose the users.

Now UX can be made better by understanding the importance of accessibility and usability which comprises and makes a better chunk of this user experience. Lucky for you this is our blog’s topic. Let’s begin then.

Accessibility

What does it mean? 

Accessibility means how are you enabling your user interface easily available to the people with different abilities across multiple devices. 

The main goal here is to make the user interface as simple as possible so anyone can use, understand and navigate regardless of their disability and can provide it to the web.

What is disability?

Disability is a condition or situation where you are unable to do something that you want to but you could have done that with no sweat if you are not in that condition. 

Typically disability can be divided into two categories: 

  1. Physical disability
  2. Technical disability 

Physical Disability

As the word states itself it’s when the condition where you are not able to do the thing you want because in some way you are limited. Now this can be temporary like fracture, permanent like blindness or situational like carrying something.

The best example of this is your smartphone keypad or keyboard just holding and swiping your keypad/keyboard will turn it  into one hand usable keypad/keyboard and you can switch the sides as well. This is because these companies know that there will be a user who might not be able to use both hands under some circumstances.

It’s very important since you have to make a user interface embedded with the capability of supporting the user having any kind of problem.

Think about the features that will help them, how will you explain or let the user know about your content. These features are Screen Readers, Screen Magnifier, and Voice Assistant.

You might also ask the questions from the users from both with and without disabilities. For disabled ones just add a few more questions about the tools which they use to get by.

Technical Disability

This involves you taking in consideration about the devices and net connection users might be using. This disability includes the condition where the user is using say 

  • very old version of the browser, 
  • old operating systems, 
  • low speed connections.

To solve this problem there are few things that you can do 

  • Using Lightweight Media
  • Using less links from other site to display the content 
  • Using alt text with images: so if the image doesn’t load then a text should be displayed to inform the user about what type of image is missing. Use appropriate alt text.
  • Having a different version of UI to display the data according to the net limits.
  • Using tables,audio,and video with proper captions
  • Use default HTML tags
  • Use title tags.

Why is accessibility that Important?

Our basic aspects of life like education, business, healthcare and government etc are all tied up to the internet. It’s very important that we give everyone an equal opportunity to grow, to learn and to provide. 

One thing to note here a lawsuit can be filed if the site is not accessible to the user. 

The World Wide Web Consortium W3C has stated guidelines to follow regarding the same. W3C Accessibility Guidelines.

Think of it like this: say you have an ecommerce website and it doesn’t have accessibility options and a certain customer with a particular disability type came across your site and was 

unable to buy the product s/he wanted. This will impact your site in lot of ways 

  • s/he’s going to give bad review, 
  • do business with other site, 
  • and even worse sometimes tells others about the problem he faced with your site in person.

Overall you got the bad image now and you lost the potential buyers. But what if you had the options this will create a positive impact on the user and over all a very good user experience. 

As a UX designer it’s your job to maintain this and avoid it from happening. Developers usually avoid this but it’s of utmost importance.

Usability

It’s a process of how a given task/work can be completed with your user interface. It is simple yet so complicated you need to make this so easy that s/he doesn’t realize how easily it’s done to make them at ease. 

Usability is a very important element when designing the user flow you have to consider every single page and link everything right. 

You don’t want your user to even feel lost at your UI at any given instance.

5 Usability quality every UI should have

These are qualities upon which you can test your UI’s usability properties and somewhat predict the result. These make a huge impact on the product and its success after deployment. 

  1. Learnability: how fast the users learns how to use navigation and primary functions
  2. Efficiently: how long it takes to complete a task
  3. Memorability: on their second or nth number of sessions how long it takes to remember the basics of application.
  4. Error: what mistakes user make and how often repeat it
  5. Satisfaction: do your users enjoy the UI, do they want to come back?

Usability and UX connection

You see usability is an integral part of the UX; they both are different things and very important one indeed. Usability is how easily you can handle the UI and UX is the complete experience.

Let’s take an example

Say you wanted to buy a new smartphone and one of you suggested a site and gave you a discount code. You opened the site and when you scrolled the homepage you found it ,opened the link and decided which one to buy after reading reviews which were at the bottom of the screen just above similar products. You also checked extra information about the delivery date and other things.

So, time to check out you filled the information and paid the amount. Now it’s time to wait for the product to arrive. Third day product arrived and when opened the box it was broken you immediately rushed and checked for return or replace option as opened your order section, clicked on the smartphone you ordered there was a option to replace you filled in the information that it was broken and two days later new smartphone arrived and delivery man took the broken phone without any question after checking the contents. 

So where is usability in this scenario well up until finished the checkout it was all usability and this complete incident from opening to getting other devices in exchange is UX. You didn’t have any problem in finding the device and the same in checking out everything was just click click and complete. 

Even when the product was defective you didn’t face much problem when the exchange option was located correctly and they didn’t question how it broke. It was a good experience even when you got a broken first time since you exchanged it easily. It’s highly likely that you’ll use this site again for its simplicity and easy to return or exchange feature.

See that’s how a good ecommerce site works. They don’t bother you much because they are spending huge amounts of money to get you satisfied because they want you to shop again.

How to get better usability?

See there’s only two things that can get you this: research and testing.

Research 

You have to know everything related to the clients you want your site to be visited by. Think like them. Interview and ask questions to them.

Testing

Well you have done everything now to test it, give it to your colleague and monitor their progress on the application if they can’t navigate or are having a problem then redesign and retest it.

Conclusion

Finally see if you ignore accessibility and usability of your UI, you might end up losing the business or maybe you’ll get it running for a while but everyone will start ignoring products which are not good. So do not avoid applying this in your next project.

Interested in Learning UX and UI Designing!

We have prepared some very detailed UI and UX design courses that are covering each and every crucial point of this field. Read more about them:

Found this blog useful for you. Don’t miss our other UI/UX design blogs that are written on other important topics.

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