Difference between accessible and inclusive design

What is accessible design?

Accessible design aim to achieve that every person can use a digital product, regardless of their capacities.

What is inclusive design?

Inclusive design dives into a deeper spectrum, and its objective is building products that everyone can use. In this case inclusivity takes into account people who have certain kinds of disabilities, but also minorities and other population groups.

Differences between accessible and inclusive design

Accessible and inclusive design are strongly linked, but they have a slightly different focus.

Value of accessibility and inclusivity

We all want that everyone is treated equally and have the same opportunities, and access to digital products plays a main role in this issue. If we achieve that everybody can use a digital product there can be perks such as:

  • Creating added value. The more people who have their needs satisfied by a digital product, the more attractive the product is, and it could also try to expand towards more potential markets. The greater the number of clients who can use a digital product, the greater the benefit.
  • Improve user satisfaction. If we understand the needs of every user, we will improve their satisfaction. Furthermore, it is easier to maintain the existing users than trying to convince new users.

Tips for integrating accessibility and inclusivity into UX

As UX experts we have to make sure that we put into action every accessibility and inclusivity measure available. These are some of the most important pieces of advice:

  • Using the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines to identify the fields where we can improve.
  • Recruit diverse users who will allow us to understand the challenges that we are facing during the development of the digital product. Inclusivity has to start during the project’s ideation phase, going through investigation and up until the launch of our product.
  • Show empathy and iterate the project as many times as it is needed, watching closely the results that research reveals.
  • Create diverse teams so we can have different points of view that will impact the design development process.

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Torresburriel Estudio

Torresburriel Estudio

User Experience & User Research agency focused on services and digital products. Proud member of @UXalliance