Designed for Accessibility: How to build a UI/UX strategy focussed on inclusion

Designed for Accessibility: How to build a UI/UX strategy focussed on inclusion

Person in a wheelchair working at a desk, holding documents, in a modern office setting, highlighting accessibility

How to build a UI/UX strategy focussed on digital accessibility and inclusion.

In the middle of June, I had the chance to attend TechNExt fringe event titled: Accessibility Transformation: Ensuring Tech for All. Coming away from the talk, it got me thinking how we as a society can adopt a fully inclusive approach when it comes to our digital products.

Because let’s face it…. As we become more and more digitally dependent, we must consider sectors of our audience who are at risk of being isolated due to many varying factors. Remembering that digitally inclusive design rests upon systems that provide a positive digital experience for all users – regardless of any impairment, availability or knowledge they have – is a strong place to start.

By definition, web accessibility is ‘an inclusive practice to ensure there are no barriers that prevent any form of interaction with digital products’. The ideology is that regardless of condition, anyone can have the same digital experience and have equal access to information and functionality. The result of this is that a wider pool of audience members can access the product.


Let’s explore the benefits of an accessible design approach for inclusivity.

The main overriding benefit of being inclusive, and producing an accessible product, is increased overall traffic. It seems obvious, but by being more inclusive you have access to a larger pool of people accessing the content. And with that comes a range of benefits:

  • More Customers
  • Improved overall website SEO
  • Enhances your brand reputation
  • Better user journeys which may lead to better conversion rates
  • All of these factors can lead to promoted business growth

A pair of hands hovering over a laptop of a person sitting at desk with a desktop screen in the background


Building an Inclusive UX/UI Strategy

One of the big takeaways which really resonated with me was the fact that accessibility is set on a cultural level. It’s not a matter of waking up one morning and deciding ‘let’s do accessibility today.’ It’s a standard and mindset switch which should be declared at the get go of any new project. Here is a list of the different ways you can be more accessible:


  • Use ALT Tags which are descriptive of your media in your code for all hyperlinks, icons, images, videos and any other media types.
  • Have subtitles and transcripts for all videos.
  • Avoid unnecessary media that can cause distraction.


  • Ensure page titles are clear and descriptive
  • Ensure there’s an acceptable contrast between text and background (at Least 4.5:1.)
  • Ensure large amounts of text are broken up into smaller paragraphs or bullet points
  • Ensure your text uses REM or EM for sizes and ensure it is no smaller than 14px

Navigation and Links:

  • Write descriptive text using an ARIA tag to state what is being clicked
  • Ensure links are underlined and a contrasting colour to standard text.
  • Use breadcrumb trails for easier navigation
  • Design for larger clickable area touch points


  • Avoid any colours which are loud or bright
  • Ensure you avoid colour combinations which are known to cause issues for colour blind users who don’t have sufficient contrast


  • Ensure the front end is semantically coded to provide a true page hierarchy of content to assist screen readers
  • Create sites which are dynamic to allow the user to have the flexibility to modify the text size easily or make modifications

Close-up of a computer screen displaying Java code, emphasizing web development and accessibility

Assistive Technologies:

  • Apple assistive touch
  • Screen readers
  • On-screen keyboards navigated with a trackball
  • Voice recognition
  • Eye tracking software

When we prioritize digital accessibility, we future-proof our systems. As we increasingly adopt digital solutions, many people who prefer analog systems are left behind due to inadequate accessibility measures. By implementing comprehensive accessibility practices, we ensure that individuals with impairments can access online content, creating an inclusive experience and removing barriers to information.

By designing with accessibility in mind, and focusing on inclusivity from the beginning of the software development life cycle, we can easily prevent the outlined issues covered in this blog. In truth, achieving accessibility can be straightforward; it’s often societal tendencies that overcomplicate the process.

About the author:

Daniel Carrick

UX/UI Designer