Are you being inclusive or trendy?

Everyone likes a good ‘ole design trend and you should! Some trends have spearheaded the innovations we love today, however not all of them are good for the online populace. It’s easy to fall into the trap of designing something because it looks cool, rather than focusing on elements like, readability, inclusivity and general functionality.

Just before I start, I would like to state that I am in no way shaming these design examples. Most of them are beautifully designed and strong in other areas, however it can be easy to fall into these traps:

White text on EVERYTHING!

Yes, I understand it looks clean, sleek, sophisticated, especially on a shnazzy gradient background. But my fellow designers there are two words you must engrave into your mind:

Colour.

Contrast.

A large percent of digital users have visual impairments, so websites that don’t even follow a basic colour contrast can be very uninviting. A little trick I learnt in Reading is to squint your eyes. If the two colours blend in too easily, you need to switch it up until the contrast is strong.

Websites like Monzo and Asana are awesome examples on how to get this type of contrast right. Kudos to their designers!

Green and Red meaning Yes or No

Without going into too much detail, it’s incredibly easy to associate the colour red to danger and green to safe. This can be seen everywhere; on websites, posters and especially road signs.

Trichromatic view
Dichromatic view

However, did you know that users who are colourblind might not see the difference between green and red? This simple fact has not been highlighted with designers enough and there are already solutions out there to help overcome this. I generated these examples with a web simulator called Coblis.

Now for the bad news. As a designer it is very easy to fall into these design traps and I have only covered an extremely small portion of it. Inclusive design is an extremely important topic that is not emphasised enough.

The good news is that there are a lot of systems out there to help counter this (I’ll drop a few links below). Hey, I’m even trying to compile a clear-cut guide for designers like me, so stay tuned for that. If you want to help with research or want to give any suggestions for my next post, great!

Just drop me an email at hi@ryzardakita.com.

Links:
http://wearecolorblind.com/
http://www.color-blindness.com/coblis-color-blindness-simulator/
http://digitaldesignstandards.com/standard/accessibility/inclusive-digital-design/
https://www.abilitynet.org.uk/news-blogs/how-avoid-losing-one-million-website-customers-inclusive-digital-design-dementia