Sanna Kramsi - I would if I could a guide to web accessibility

Universal Design

Universal Design refers to the concept of creating products, environments, and systems that are accessible, usable, and beneficial to as many people as possible, regardless of their age, ability, or other characteristics. The aim of Universal Design is to eliminate barriers and ensure inclusivity by accommodating a diverse range of users without the need for specialized adaptations or modifications. An environment (or a building, product or service) should be designed to meet the needs of everyone who wants to use it. When an environment is accessible, usable, convenient and a pleasure to use, everyone benefits. Essentially, Universal Design is good design.

Universal Design is commonly applied to architecture, product design, web design, transportation, and various other fields. It goes beyond mere accessibility compliance and seeks to create environments and experiences that are inherently inclusive and respectful of human diversity.

7 Principles of Universal Design

Equitable Use

  • Provide the same means of use for all users: identical whenever possible; equivalent when not.
  • Avoid segregating or stigmatizing any users.
  • Provisions for privacy, security, and safety should be equally available to all users.
  • Make the design appealing to all users.

Flexibility in Use

  • Provide choice in methods of use.
  • Accommodate right- or left-handed access.
  • Facilitate the user’s accuracy and precision.
  • Provide adaptability to the user’s pace

Simple and Intuitive Use

  • Eliminate unnecessary complexity.
  • Be consistent with user expectations and intuition.
  • Accommodate a wide range of literacy and language skills.
  • Arrange information consistent with its importance.
  • Provide effective prompting and feedback during and after task completion.

Perceptible Information

  • Use different modes (pictorial, verbal, tactile) for redundant presentation of essential information.
  • Provide adequate contrast between essential information and its surroundings.
  • Maximize legibility of essential information.
  • Differentiate elements in ways that can be described (i.e., make it easy to give instructions or directions).
  • Provide compatibility with a variety of techniques or devices used by people with sensory limitations

Tolerance for Error

  • Arrange elements to minimize hazards and errors: most used elements, most accessible; hazardous elements eliminated, isolated, or shielded.
  • Provide warnings of hazards and errors. 
  • Provide failsafe features.
  • Discourage unconscious action in tasks that require vigilance

Low Physical Effort

  • Allow user to maintain a neutral body position
  • Use reasonable operating forces.
  • Minimize repetitive actions.
  • Minimize sustained physical effort.

Size and Space for Approach and Use

  • Provide a clear line of sight to important elements for any seated or standing user.
  • Make reaching to all components comfortable for any seated or standing user.
  • Accommodate variations in hand and grip size.
  • Provide adequate space for the use of assistive devices or personal assistance

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