When developing a web project, most companies and businesses focus on issues such as web usability and SEO positioning.
It is true that both aspects are important, but there is a third leg that must be given priority that often falls into oblivion; accessibility in general, and accessible apps in particular.
This third aspect of online projects is relevant for two different reasons. On the one hand, it has weight within SEO positioning and, on the other hand, it helps to include all users.
So that you can start working on an accessibility strategy, we are going to see in this article what accessible apps are and how this aspect can be worked on.
What are accessible apps?
In other words, these are online spaces that can be navigated from mobile devices that make it easy for all users to use them without limitations or barriers.
It must be taken into account that, in addition to the interface, there are other factors that are also related and affect the design as well as accessibility and usability.
- ALT texts.
- Description of the graphic content.
- Description of the action of the buttons.
These elements are often not taken into account, since they are more related to technical issues that are not always valued. However, they also play an important role when it comes to configuring how the user moves around the web, a fact that generates a certain experience.
How to improve the accessibility of your app?
Accessibility is still a pending task in many web pages and apps of companies and individuals. However, its importance is no less, since physical access and design depend on it.
Fortunately, the different agents related to the Internet are becoming more aware of it and accessible apps are living their golden age.
Contrast of texts
If the text and the background share a color range, the readability of this content will plummet. For a correct reading, the contrast with respect to the background of the interface is essential.
Text that has a minimum light contrast ratio of 4.5:1 versus the background is considered correct for accessibility and legibility.
Sans serif fonts
Another aspect related to legibility is the type of font used. The simpler it is, the easier it will be for users to easily read the content.
Sans Serif (or sans serif) fonts are one of the most recommended, as they are suitable for people with visual and intellectual difficulties .
Borders in visual content
If the visual contents have a specific weight within the design, they must be clearly defined. Again, contrast is important in this area.
Content that fades into the background can be difficult to understand. A graphic content with delimited borders and with weight will be much easier to visualize at a glance and to understand. In addition, it not only helps to create accessible apps, it also highlights the hierarchy and importance of everything that is offered in the content.
Correct nomenclature of elements
We have already commented on the importance of those aspects that are not visible, but are in the app. Titles are one of those essential parts for good understanding and accessibility.
Keep in mind that tools that facilitate accessibility for users with disabilities use titles to describe what cannot be seen or understood in any other way. Therefore, it is essential to use the right words to describe each content, whatever the reason.
It is also important not to repeat titles if they do not refer to exactly the same graphic content. If there are modifications, however minimal, they must be indicated.
The navigation within the app must allow customization based on the user’s needs. Therefore, the option is usually given to return to web-type navigation, change the contrast, or see the simplified navigation.
It is appropriate to always have an accessible option, as long as the full version of the website is not 100% accessible for the benefit of design or other features.
Using the keyboard
Although many of the devices have a physical keyboard integrated, it is important that, in both cases, the user is offered the possibility of using an online keyboard.
Simplification is essential to achieve accessible apps with high usability by the user. Thus, as we have already mentioned, we must bet on easy names, incorporate representative icons and images that help the user to find what they are looking for, without this involving extra effort, and eliminate all that superfluous information.
The Sitemap should be as simple as possible, as should the design and call-to-action elements and buttons.
Linked to the above, the auto-complete function is also a good way to make your online experience easier. Especially in text editing or, for example, when writing the option in a selection control.
Examples of accessible apps
When looking for accessible applications, we will always find the best examples in those projects that are expressly aimed at groups with disabilities or inclusion problems.
However, good examples can also be found in generic brands aimed at all audiences:
1.TTS Text to Speech
This application allows you to translate written texts into voice recordings that are quite humanized and very understandable.
It transforms all kinds of texts, facilitating accessibility to all users and bringing them closer to the content of any other app or web page.
One of the most popular instant messaging applications among users from all countries.
Little by little they have been improving the user experience and accessibility and for several updates it allows you to record voice messages, listen to them and even hear written messages.
This application to find parking for the disabled or with access for people with reduced mobility came about as a result of another app that was looking for parking in general.
Little by little, the importance of giving options to these groups became clear, and in addition to the service, the accessibility of the application itself was improved.
A fascinating app for designers, but also for the visually impaired and colorblind.
It tells you the color of an image, an object, a landscape, etc. just by pointing the mobile camera. In addition, the information it offers is very complete:
- Color name.
- Hex color.
This application was born with a clearly inclusive objective, helping blind people to read the contents of web pages.
Little by little it has evolved and now has its own radio, offers podcast playlists and allows you to browse all kinds of content in an audio version.
It is important to keep in mind that the aforementioned aspects are useful separately and independently.
However, if what is sought is “complete” accessibility, the ideal is to bet on a mixture of factors that are related to the different types of accessibility.
In other words, we should not only focus on improving accessibility for users with visual problems, but also for those with hearing or legibility difficulties.