Tim Scheffer

Creating an application that meets the accessibility standards is tough, but we don’t have a choice anymore. It is our responsibility to make sure our products can be used by all users, not just morally, but often legally as well. Considering accessibility as part of your design system is a good starting point. How? Read on!

15% of the world’s population experience some form of disability, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). This number grows every day as the global population ages. A lot of these people need to use assistive technology to navigate websites and other digital products and experience a clear mismatch between how they use their tools and how interfaces are designed. Recent studies found that less than 2% of homepages meet standard level AA WCAG 2.1 accessibility requirements, which is the general standard of web accessibility.

Assistive technology comes in many shapes and forms: screen readers that read an interface out aloud, zoom software that enlarges elements, or simply using only a keyboard to navigate instead of a mouse. The reasons for using them also vary wildly, ranging from efficiency or personal preference to mobility disabilities.
Design systems are the perfect opportunity to build accessibility and inclusion into your component libraries, both from a code repository perspective as well as from a UI/UX design perspective. Seeing accessibility as an integrated part of the process, rather than ‘something that we need to check’ when the project is at its end, is something that we’re seeing more and more of nowadays. …

Tim Scheffer

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