AA and AAA Accessibility Checklist
User experience design is key in the creation of any software or product, accessibility falls under the umbrella of UX design, and the success of a user experience design is derived from how a user will navigate and access the product easily regardless of their conditions (if any), hence the importance of designing experiences with accessibility in mind.
We know that UX design focuses on providing solutions to users, so the goal of each product is to solve a problem for the user, to achieve this, we must take into account mainly how the user interacts with the product part.
Accessibility means that a service or product can be used by all users equally. There are accessibility laws that help people with disabilities have equal access to such products and services. Designers have the task of designing most inclusively, providing designs that work for as many users as possible. These guidelines known as Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0, define how to make web content more accessible to people with disabilities. Visual, hearing, physical, speech, cognitive, language, learning, and neurological disabilities should be covered by accessibility.
The benefit of creating a product with accessibility in mind is not only better usability, it is an opportunity to reach a much wider audience while building a reputation for inclusivity.
Web accessibility is important to SEO, as it provides content that is appropriate for different users. Screen reader technologies, for example, bring value to the website and is a very influential factor in how they are discovered by SEO.
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines
It's important to understand that WCAG 2.0 is a set of guidelines used by website designers and developers to help ensure that all users can access the information on their sites, regardless of the devices they use or their physical or cognitive abilities.
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) are made up of success criteria—a list of questions—that are organized into three levels: A, AA, and AAA. Level A corresponds to essential accessibility, level AA addresses more complex situations such as image alternatives for buttons, and level AAA handles even more complex situations like interactive multimedia applications and dynamic content (which we'll discuss later).
Download the AA and AAA accessibility checklist
Creating accessible user experiences is a crucial aspect of good design. Our AA and AAA accessibility checklist can help you identify and fix accessibility issues on your website. Download it now and start improving the user experience for everyone!
To understand the WCAG 2.0 success criteria, it's important to first understand the difference between "AA" and "AAA" as well as what each of these means. AA stands for Accessibility Assistance, which means that there are features built into a website or app that help disabled users navigate it more easily. These features include tools that let users enlarge text on a screen, magnify images, and use screen readers (software or apps that convert text into audio). AAA stands for Accessibility Everywhere: when something has support built-in through every step of its creation process—from conception all the way down to design and implementation—to be accessible by people with disabilities.
The WCAG 2.0 success criteria outline what accessibility looks like at different levels of conformance, with each level having more requirements than its predecessor. The ultimate goal is to create an accessible product that meets at least two levels above current standards so that future versions will be even more accessible than ever before!
So, based on the above, how do you create a UX design that is highly focused on accessibility?
- Make sure to incorporate personas with impairments while developing user personas during the design process. This will aid in creating a more inclusive product.
- Be careful with color. Choosing colors carefully can ensure that a person who is color-blind can still use the product even though you don't want to completely avoid using color. High contrast may be advantageous.
- To assist users in navigating products, take into account the utilization of shapes (and create a visual note of their purpose).
- Be thoughtful in your use of form fields. Use distinct borders while filling out forms. Both people who are physically disabled and those who have certain cognitive impairments benefit from this.
- Create design elements with accessibility in mind, such as menus, auto-fill, and others. Each pattern contains a set of HTML semantics and ARIA elements for screen reader users to engage with a menu or auto-fill when using a product.
- Avoid using hover menus. This makes using a product or service challenging for people with poor motor skills and is likely to cause dissatisfaction.
- Think about supplying transcripts for video or audio content for hearing-impaired people as well as voice-over reading alternatives for the visually impaired.
- The WCAG contains numerous additional recommendations.
There are many ways in which designs can be more inclusive. Thinking about people with disabilities when designing is the first step. While these lists are extensive, they only scratch the surface of accessibility requirements. By using the WCAG guidelines and adhering to the principles of accessibility and inclusion, you can help ensure that your website or app is usable by everyone. Accessibility is not just a moral imperative—it’s also required by law in many places and makes good business sense, opening up your products to a larger market.
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