Chapter 76. Accessibility

When your projects will be used by the general public or specific groups of people who are very old, very young, hearing- or vision-impaired, who might not understand the languages you provide, etc., it’s time to adjust your approach.

Accessibility is the idea of designing for people who have less-than-typical abilities in one way or another. Not necessarily a disability. Anything that could make a typical design hard to use in any way might fall under the category of accessibility. It is also one of those topics that could be—and probably is—a whole book of its own. So think of this as a very general overview.

For beginners, I think the main thing is that you know about accessibility and include it whenever you can.

Accessibility is a major consideration for general public sites like governments and universities, but also for any site with millions of users, like Facebook, Tumblr, news sites, etc.

Accessibility Is Visual

The simplest and most obvious way to make your designs more accessible is to make it easier to look at. This is actually very similar to the idea of designing for different devices, except that the differences are the users instead of the device.

Big text is easier to read, so if your audience is a little older or visually impaired, spend some extra time on readability. Color blindness is a real thing, and more common than you might think. Depending on your audience, up to 10% of them might have trouble with red and green, for example, so they ...

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