11 ways inclusive design benefits the customer experience
(12th August 2021) - Guest blog: Terkel
In our diverse world, how can we make sure that our websites are designed to be inclusive of all? What's your top tip - and how does it benefit the customer experience?
To help business owners build inclusive designs for the betterment of the customer experience, we asked marketing specialists and digital design experts for their best pieces of advice. From optimizing color palettes for less eye strain to including alt-text on images, there are several ways that may help you produce inclusive design to benefit the experience of customers and boost potential sales for years to come.
Here are 11 ways inclusive design benefits the customer experience.
Create Easy to Read Content
One design mistake that is easy to avoid is using too much text, whether online or in printed documents. In designing inclusive content, typically less is more. Focus your message to get across the relevant information without too much clutter. At the same time, written content with ample white space is typically easier to read and more pleasing to the eye which can help with your customers of all backgrounds best view your content.
Dianne Stripling, The Print Authority
Optimize Color Palettes to Reduce Eye Strain
More and more people are using their phones, or screens that aren't necessarily laptops. In order to be inclusive for all web users, we use high contrast digital designs, i.e. white on black, and do our best to not use reds and greens close together. This ensures that people who are color blind or have color sensitivities are able to clearly see and read the content on your webpage, from prices, product description, and blog posts. Utilizing things like color theory, which colors are too close in similarities, and which ones look the best pair together, in crafting your website will help to ensure your site is designed with accessibility in mind.
Peter Babichenko, Sahara Case
Leveraging Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence (AI) has grown and today there’s improved ways for diverse populations to communicate with others. From chatbots to the ability to transcribe phone calls in real time. This technology benefits the customer experience by meeting customers where they are. We use AI to improve the communications experience within companies using intelligent shared inboxes and analytics, which enhances client communication and productivity.
Francesca Yardley, Threads
Minimize Moving Parts for Optimal Loading
Companies should consider inclusive design in their website as a means to reach the widest audience possible to experience and interact with their products and services. At Lightkey, we have designed our website to have a clear layout, with minimal “moving objects”, using understandable links, and large buttons. In addition, we have taken into consideration inclusive design by offering our predictive text software as an assistive technology to people with disabilities. This helps those who may struggle with the physical aspect of typing. Such considerations optimize the user experience for people with disabilities.
Guy Katabi, Lightkey
Understand End-Users Requirements
For a website to have an all-inclusive design, it is of utmost importance to know the requirements or the pain points of the end-users who are going to use the website. This will help the UX/UI team to understand the significance of usage from various perspectives. Conducting direct customer interviews will be a good avenue to conceptualize the website ideas into a great design. The insights/requirements gathered directly from t customers will be of great help to design a great customer experience. It helps designers to step into the shoes of end users and take into account their needs and preferences.
Sri Sagar Kalisetty, Markitors
Support Keyboard Navigating
One way to make your website more inclusive is to ensure it supports keyboard navigation. This will be key to making your website inclusive for those with motor disabilities or the visually impaired. The goal for keyboard navigation is to ensure that every interactive part of your website is able to be navigated with the keyboard.
John Levisay, The Pro's Closet
Use Symbols in Addition to Color
Website designers should consider the experience of color-blind users. Since color-blind users have difficulties distinguishing between colors, it is best to incorporate symbols to guide color-blind users. One excellent example where symbols play a massive role in website design is in sign-up pages. When users forget to fill in necessary details, the box usually glows red to indicate that it's incorrectly filled. However, some color blind users might not see this, so website designers include a “!” symbol to tell them that they need to fill everything correctly.
Stephen Light, Nolah Mattress
Provide Different Languages
On your website, provide different languages even if they are based in an English-speaking country. Make it easy for translations to occur and provide newsletters in multiple languages as well. Same with ad spaces and other marketing materials. Be a diverse company in the languages you offer.
Derin Oyekan, Reel Paper
Add a Quick Shop Button
An inclusive customer experience can mean many things. However, as a clothing company dedicated to providing family and children's clothing, inclusivity means providing a fast and easy to use website that allows anyone to purchase with ease. As mothers, we are constantly looking for ways to do things quickly and easily. With our company, we strive to make the shopping and checkout process seamless, efficient, and direct. Specifically, this means providing flexible yet easy to maneuver color and size options, creating a "quick shop" option for those in a hurry and providing clothing for every age group imaginable.
Lori Price, PixieLane
Add ALT-Text to Images
It's important to acknowledge that persons with disabilities will visit your website at some point. I make sure that all images on my website are optimized for those who are blind. The ALT description is a tag attached to images that describes what the image is. This ALT text can then be read aloud by an automatic reader.
Joe Flanagan, VelvetJobs
Demonstrate Inclusivity in Your Messaging
An inclusive experience goes beyond accessibility requirements. It’s also about how included someone feels. So demonstrate inclusivity in your messaging. For example, we are proud of our diverse team of adoption specialists and feature them on our website’s landing page and team page. When birth mothers and adoptive parents are exploring the adoption process, seeing a diverse organization can help them feel more welcome to take the next step in their adoption journey. We also make first contact easier by providing birth mothers a phone number to text message rather than call.
Kenna Hamm, Texas Adoption Center
Your 8 step plan to accessible and inclusive websites
Creating an accessible and inclusive website isn’t a simple checkbox exercise. It’s a process. After all, websites are forever changing. Maintaining digital accessibility is part of the journey too.
Recently, we hosted a webinar with the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP). During the session, we walk you through an 8 step plan to creating and managing accessible websites and content.
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