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March 31, 2021   |   3 min read

Inclusive Design Has Become Brand Imperative Design.

Shelagh Conley   |   Sr. Strategist

Inclusive Design Has Become Brand Imperative Design.

After a year of intense digital migration and digital transformation, inclusive design—or accessible design—is not a consideration for your users and customers but an imperative. Inclusive design creates fulfilling experiences for the one in four Americans who have a disabilities, which creates an online experience that is better for all. In this first of a three-part series on inclusive design and the Americans with Disabilities Act requirements, Mindstream explores why inclusive design should be a top discussion for brands and their design and customer experience partners.


Inclusive design is at the core of customer experience.

When talking with Mindstream’s Vice President of Creative and UX, Kaylyn Bredon, we asked why a strategy that leads with inclusive design matters for all brands. “It reinforces how all products should be explored in order for them to be fully embraced and adopted by a collective user base, which puts people at the center from the very beginning of the process,” Bredon said.

She goes on to say, “UX/UI designers and researchers have seen the scenario play out time and time again in usability testing; what we—as the designers—think will work for a given segment or audience simply doesn’t sometimes. It’s one of the reasons we think testing our work is so important. That said, a priority around inclusive design helps push the conversation forward in getting our partners to understand its importance as early on as possible, carrying into co-creation.”

One may consider accessibility and inclusive thinking as one in the same, when accessibility is really a subset of the overall inclusive story.


Inclusive design and the generational divides.

Our society has a growing geriatric population—the largest ever, in fact—and everyone has some life caveat that relies on online access or houses information online. Sight, mobility, and hearing are just some of the challenges the aging community could be facing.

“An inclusive ADA-compliant design is going to have a positive impact on site engagement and conversion rates, especially for sites that target an older demographic,” points out Kim Towne, Director of Analytics at Mindstream. Brands require design that allows the older demographic to make fonts larger and more readable. For those hard of hearing, the font and audio alternative considerations offer vital ease of use. Keeping these considerations top-of-mind will likely improve conversion rates for those audiences, as well.


The next steps marketers can and should take.

Human experiences are diverse. By prioritizing accessibility, you create an experience that accommodates and benefits all of them. Incorporating inclusive design considerations into your overall digital strategy ultimately drives wins for the business. Following a four-stage checklist can help your brand’s digital landscape take the journey toward full access:

  1. Consider all of the actions that can be applied to your content
  2. Keep in mind changing environments, changing screens, and alternative content needs
  3. Stay consistent with layout styles, pattern, and content across platforms
  4. Recognize exclusion and implement design solutions that lead to significant improvements for all audiences

Inclusive design isn’t about catering an experience for those who have disabilities—it’s  about rooting your entire digital ecosystem in equality and ease-of-use. For a brand, that’s the ultimate CX win.

 

We’re here to help.

We’ll be exploring more facets of inclusive design and ADA regulations in parts two and three of this series.

If you’re looking to better understand your site’s needs and incorporate inclusive design and ADA requirements, contact our team of experts. Our award-winning team can assist with everything from strategic audits to creative execution for true business impact.

 

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