Why should we have accessible design?
Your website is the centrepiece of your brand. It is what interested customers use to learn the values of the business. For your brand to be successful and communicate these values clearly it is important accessible design is used. Accessible design is exactly how it sounds, it is the act of making sure as many people as possible are able to use the design but also understand its message.
Isn’t making an accessible brand complicated?
This idea is actually pretty simple but it is often overlooked; careful consideration is required to make brands accessible without sacrificing the aesthetics of the brand. Certain components make branding accessible; these are the legibility of the text, how important visual components are to convey information and how easy the website is to navigate. Branding is an investment so it is essential that people can actually understand what the brand stands for.
How can we have an accessible brand?
We were given the task of redesigning the website for Derwen College, a specialist college that caters for students with disabilities and learning difficulties and provides them with vocational courses and life skills. Due to the type of user this brand caters for it is important that it is accessible so the needs of the user are met.
The first step in accessible designs is making the information legible. This involves some basic colour theory by creating a colour scheme with high contrast such as dark and light colours or pale and bold colours to create a type that stands out more. This becomes easier to read for those who may have poor eyesight.
The next step in creating an accessible design for Derwen College was ensuring there are no important images that are left unexplained by text. This is because images contain no writing and therefore cannot be read by screen readers. Screen readers are software that read out information on a website so that blind users can still get the information.
The third step is to make sure the links on the website are clear in what they lead to. This means including descriptions of where the links lead and what information will be accessed by clicking on them. This helps create an easy experience on the website where the users can navigate to the information they need without filtering through the information that is not relevant to them. This helps keep the users of the website happy.
Where can I get an accessible brand?
Here at Country we are always happy to help with your design needs. We offer a customer-focused approach where we will discuss the unique requirements for your brand and how accessible design will benefit your users. We are always happy to talk and see what approach is best for you. Design is the voice of your brand so it is important it is clear and understandable to your users.
Written by Lewis Mottram
Work experience – Shrewsbury College