Design & Build Best Practices for Creating Accessible Websites and Apps

September 04, 2019
Practical advice for how to design and build websites and applications that comply with accessibility standards.


It should come as no surprise that people with disabilities use the internet every day in much the same way as everyone else. While it may be difficult to truly understand the challenges of users who have disabilities you don't share, it's easy to understand that they are typically trying to do and achieve the same things you are. With a little extra effort and planning, it's possible to build an experience that works for everyone. In doing so, you will increase the size of your reach, do the right thing for society, and protect yourself from potential fines and lawsuits. 

This whitepaper focuses on providing product owners, designers, developers and QA engineers with practical advice that will help to reduce the frustrations of building websites that will work with the gamut of Assistive Technologies used by people with disabilities. The three most high-level takeaways are: 

  1. Plan ahead. Bake accessibility into your design and build plan from day one. It will be much harder to meet accessibility standards after the fact. These standards should be included in every user story and acceptance criteria from the very beginning.

  2. The QA challenge is heavy. Be sure to leave enough time for the project. Making a website accessible generally takes longer than a non-accessible website. All integrations with the various Assistive Technologies will need to be tested by the QA team, which will add complexity and time to the project. 

  3. Don't sacrifice. Don’t change abandon your usual standards for design. Don't fall into the trap of assuming that accessible design has to be ugly! It will take some extra effort, but you can design websites that are elegant and attractive as well as accessible.

The remainder of our advice is broken into categories based on the different types of users you need to consider including screen readers, keyboard users, trackpad users, etc., and the different UX, development and QA challenges presented by these different users. 

Download the full paper, here


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