The developers and UX designers often overlook accessibility in mobile apps during app development.
Accessibility provides a solution to challenges that a customer face when using the app. The customers can have impaired vision, difficulty in hearing, motor difficulties as well as difficulty in learning. So to improve the overall user experience, it is essential to include accessibility as well.
Why is App-Accessibility Important?
About 15% of the world population suffers from a physical or mental disability as per an approximation. So, in general, it makes it impossible for every 1 in 7 people to enjoy a mobile app as others do.
It is a common misconception that accessibility is optional in mobile apps. Both Android and IOS platforms provide developers with accessibility tools which can help them in creating accessible user apps which can provide a good experience for those with disability or impairment.
Besides, it is not compulsory that only disabled people might benefit from the app. Some people who want to navigate the app while driving or doing laundry can use the app without touching their mobile devices. Besides, you can also expand your user base by reaching that 15% of additional users.
Since accessibility holds search importance in development, one may wonder why it is overlooked so often. Both Android and IOS are continuously evolving systems where new features are being built now and then. Many of these features are available for developers to use, and many of them are still work in progress.
Even when the features are available to use, the developers and UX/UI designers often don’t have the expertise needed for designing and testing those features. Also, unlike the web content accessibility guidelines for or web platform, no established rules define the accessibility standard for mobile apps.
How to Make Apps More Accessible?
Making an app accessible does not mean just making the design simple and clear. You must develop the app in a way that is adaptable to those throughout the spectrum and comes in handy for those who require the app’s extra accessible features.
Here we will discuss factors that are needed to be considered when designing an app and making sure everyone can access it.
In terms of in-app navigation, buttons and URLs are the primary way you navigate an app. Therefore it is vital to separate them from each other. Button actions should be marked as active, and text should have a different text style to clarify their use.
Also, having a consistent layout is important when we are discussing navigation. Users with cognitive limitations can benefit from a consistent layout. The users can also understand an app layout in the right way if it meets the material design guidelines from Google for Apple’s human interface guidelines.
Another essential guideline is to warn the user when certain navigational action leads them outside the app. You never want the user to close your app accidentally.
It is important to ensure that your app has a simple layout. If it has a cluttered design, it might overwhelm the user, and they may give up on it before even properly exploring it.
Users with a visual disability may need to magnify the screen or add sound to the design that can help them identify the in-app actions. Also, the design must be responsive to adapt to various screen sizes to enlarge them.
It is essential to handle colors also as there should be a clear difference between foreground and background. Using dark text on a black background or white text on a light background might make it hard for users to read. As a result, those with a visual deficiency may find it impossible to use your app.
Make Audio and Video Accessible
You will have to make the app interactive by adding video and audio files during app development. When incorporating audio and video, pay attention that it is accessible by the user. People with visual impairments may need audio description, and those with trouble in hearing may need subtitles to understand the video.
Audio and video offer the ability to transform any app but if they may feel unneeded, be sure to explore other options that can also be interactive. You will have to decide when you are designing an asset-heavy app; you will have to consider the media security and size of the app.
Make it possible for users to give their feedback easily. This is important as only once users will test your app will they provide you with feedback on what you need to improve. Be sure to remain in touch with the users weekly or monthly to be aware of any issues that they might face.
You cannot release the app without testing it with actual users. People using the app might be disabled also and therefore need to use the accessibility features. You will know what is working in the app and what needs to be changed only if the actual users try it.
Analytics is part of every app development process. Your work is not done once you publish the app on the app store; you still have to pay attention and be aware of which features are being used the most and used the least.
The data will help you map the patterns of your users and understand what the changing trends are. Once you know what is trending in the current market, make the changes according to that, and your app will survive.
Both Android and iOS platforms offer various tools and guides to incorporate accessibility features in your app. There is no reason to develop a mobile application without accessibility in mind.
The accessibility option provides you the opportunity to reach a user base that you previously might not have considered. So there are potentially financial, moral, and legal benefits to including accessibility in your app.
So start looking for an app development company that can help you include accessibility features in your app. Platforms like GoodFirms can come in handy to find the top companies and then get in touch with them. There is no reason to ignore the concept of app accessibility.