One billion people, or 15% of the world’s population, experience some form of disability, and disability prevalence is higher for developing countries. One-fifth of the estimated global total, or between 110 million and 190 million people, experience significant disabilities. – World Bank Org.
Your mobile app is a medium by which the information of your products and services reaches your audience globally. But is it really reaching the whole population? Improving your app’s accessibility enhances the usability for all users. It is important to increase your understanding of how people with disabilities use your website or application. A mobile app’s UI should be accessible to users, including those with low vision, blindness, hearing impairments, cognitive impairments, or motor impairments.
Below are few tips to take care for accessibility while designing a mobile app.
Choose primary, secondary, and accent colors for your app that support usability. Ensure sufficient color contrast between elements so that users with low vision can see and use your app. It is advisable to choose the colors that are easily differentiated.
While writing text over any action button or just a passage, it is important to keep the colors of the fonts and the background in contrast. This UI tactic is simply meant for ease of readability.
(Example of contrast)
(Don’t use such colors as it makes the font non-readable)
For users who are colorblind, or cannot see differences in color, the contrast won’t matter much. If you are developing a mobile app that caters a wider audience, you must include design elements in addition to color that ensure they receive the same amount of information.
(The description below the line will notify the person of an error who won’t be able to recognize merely through the color)
Sounds are equally important as visual cues. Allow users to navigate using sound by adding descriptive labels to UI elements. There are several visually impaired people that widely leverage screen readers such as TalkBack. This allows the users to listen to the labels on the app that are spoken aloud when users touch UI elements with their fingertips. Use audible descriptions of the functionality and features of your app.
Sounds to be avoided:
A well-defined UI will always appeal the users to install your app and use it for a longer while. Style and formatting plays an important role in defining the ease of use of your app.
Touch targets are the parts of the screen that respond to user input. They extend beyond the visual bounds of an element. For example, an icon may appear to be 24 x 24 dp, but the padding surrounding it comprises the full 48 x 48 dp touch target.
Touch targets should be at least 48 x 48 dp. A touch target of this size results in a physical size of about 9mm, regardless of screen size.
In most cases, touch targets should be separated by 8dp of space or more to ensure balanced information density and usability.
For users with low vision or having trouble focusing on the screen, it is advisable to keep related items in proximity to one another. It is helpful for those who have low vision or may have trouble focusing on the screen.
To improve readability, users might increase font size. Mobile devices and browsers include features to allow users to adjust font size system-wide. With standard font size as default, you can enable the users with feature that can focus or zoom the fonts to be more visible. This not only helps the people with low vision but also the users with dyslexia.
(Kindle App allows the users to increase the font size for better readability)
Interactive Accessibility recommends taking the next step beyond technical compliance with accessibility standards and guidelines, to focus on the overall usability of your product. It is necessary to adapt your app to meet each platform’s accessibility standards and assistive technology to give users an efficient experience.
It is recommended to test your mobile app design with the platform accessibility settings turned on (both during and after implementation).