• Larissa Schwartz

4 Tips for Better Digital Design

Updated: Aug 18, 2019

It's estimated that 1.3 billion people on the planet live with some form of vision impairment, according to the World Health Organization in 2018. Keep this in mind when you design your digital stuff.

Accessibility isn't something to scoff at especially considering how many of those sets of eyes might be buying your product or service based on their first encounter with your app, website or email. Here are four things to pay attention to so that your business isn't suffering from any form of blindness:

  1. Add density to your font selection. Is it grey? Make it darker. Is it light? Make it thicker. Is it small? Make it bigger. If you have perfect vision, squint at your font selection and see if you can still read it. If you can still read it because your eyes are young and you have perfect vision, give you design to an older person, see if they can read it easily. I hear you thinking, "ugh, not the old people" but keep in mind that there are millions of vision impaired people over 40 in the US alone and they shop online too.

  2. Ditch the background color. It may look beautiful but it is likely harsh to look at and even harsher to read. If you can't let the background color go, use it sparingly or find a way to work color into your design approach in other ways. Test your colors on ColorSafe. Even if you think your choices are fine, they may be hurting your users eyes. Not a great way to make a positive first impression.

  3. Use tools to test your color choices. If your client insists on using a specific color for their designs and you know they're wrong but they won't listen, you can use tools like the Color Contrast Checker on WebAIM to make your case. If the client or company is an online retailer, you can also use the older person test to back up your approach. I also recommend emphasizing that neither you nor the client is the target customer.

  4. Make the content respond to every device. Responsive design isn't new and yet there are countless sites and tons of emails that don't display well on smaller screens. When content fits the screen in a way that meets the users eye, they'll be more likely to stay on your site or read your newsletter. If you want a quick way to check your online presence, this is a nifty tool. Make sure your users stick around by pushing for your content to be built properly.

None of these things take much investment. A little thought and you're most of the way there. No need for complex platforms or massive rebranding efforts. I'm tempted to say use common sense although given the number of digital entities I've seen lately that don't follow these basic rules, the old adage "common sense is not common" is where I'll leave this.

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The Free Range Group, LLC is a consultancy providing a wide range of services for individuals and organizations. Customer experience (CX), user experience design (UX, UI), digital strategy, training and mentorship. Product planning and implementation. Project management. Remote teamwork. Business process improvement. Leadership development. Change management.

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