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3 Misconceptions About Accessibility Design

computer monitor with presentation slide that says "Designers should always keep their users in mind".

Are you making excuses for not applying accessible design practices to your organization? It’s really easy to say these things, but you may want to rethink those. Here are three common misconceptions about accessible design that makes it seem like it’s out of reach.

“It’s ugly”

“Accessible Design is Good Design.”

Steve Ballmer

-and vice versa. Good design is accessible. Accessibility has nothing to do with how good something looks. There are plenty of ugly, unusable sites and products that exist. Keeping things usable often lends itself to minimalism, which is kind of a trend these days (you know, for decades).

Something to consider: would you rather have a beautiful website or product that no one can use OR a website that everyone can use that’s maybe not as pretty as your competitors?

“It’s expensive”

If you build accessibility into your design process, it really doesn’t cost much more than what you would normally pay. You can plan for accessible color palettes and fonts and more often than not, it narrows down your choices to make the decision process much easier. 

If that’s not enough to convince you, maybe a $10,000 fine or more from lawsuits might be more of a motivator for you? If you have a brick-and-mortar store, you need to be following Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines. Otherwise, you could be looking at a pretty costly mistake in court. 

“If you think good design is expensive, you should look at the cost of bad design.”

Dr. Ralf Speth, Chief Executive Officer, Jaguar Land Rover

“My audience doesn’t need that”

How do you know? How do you really know? There are tons of disabilities that aren’t physical. Maybe they’re prone to seizures or dyslexia. How do you know? How can you really tell? Good design doesn’t make assumptions, so why are you making assumptions about your audience? 

Here’s something else to think about too: if you’re designing for as many people as possible, you’re opening up your product or service to a whole new audience. Plus, abled people also benefit from accessible design as well: high-contrast road signs, elevators, and more. 

Final Thoughts

If you’re struggling to keep track of all the ways design can be accessible, let’s talk. It’s really a lot easier than you think, but you’re already busy with 50 other tasks for your organization. Book a free 30 minute consultation to see how accessible design can help your nonprofit.

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