We take a lot of our physical and cognitive abilities for granted. I pledge to design and build features that will make our product more widely accessible to people different from me, in different settings and life situations. Most of us will face some degree of temporary or permanent disability in our lives, and minor adjustments can mean a world of difference to many people.

I will think about:

  • How might people with a different ability to hear, see, speak, touch, remember and think use our product? Is the product accessible to people who experience dyslexia, color blindness, poor vision, hearing or speaking impairments, use a foreign language, have memory or concentration challenges, rely on screen readers and other assistive technology, or only use keyboards for input?
  • In what situations and settings will our product be used? Will the product be used while driving, walking, on public transport, by distracted parents, the elderly, people new to technology?

Suggested actions:

  • When thinking of usability and ease-of-use, consider people with different needs and abilities and usage scenarios that limit people’s abilities.
  • Make the default appearance as accessible as possible by avoiding things like small text, poor contrast, icons with no labels, complicated language.
  • Provide clear feedback throughout the user interface and make it easy to correct mistakes.
  • Limit the number of things you expect people to remember and provide alternative navigation methods and contextual clues.
  • Make our product easy to use for non-techies and available in different languages.
  • Allow people to easily switch to an alternative input or output method and easily modify the visual appearance, such as text size and contrast.
  • Never use color-coding as the only way to distinguish between important information.
  • Learn about W3C accessibility standards and apply them during development.
  • Use automated accessibility auditing tools and checklists to check compliance with established best practices.
  • Test our product on different devices, screen sizes, internet speeds, with screen readers, keyboard-only access, and include diverse people and situations in our testing process.
  • Prioritize features that make our products more accessible.

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