In the realm of mobile app development, some companies fail to realize the impact that accessibility has on the success of the app and the brand in question. In fact, the vast majority of mobile applications are not created to accommodate people with disabilities.
Although many mobile app development teams consider accessibility optional, everyone must use mobile devices in our increasingly digital world. So when developers create mobile applications accessible to all different types of people, they will benefit from a larger audience, improved brand image, and, potentially, increased revenue.
If your mobile application lacks accessibility, 1 in 7 people will not use your app — immediately discounting almost 15% of your potential audience. However, making your mobile app functional for everyone isn’t as complicated as it may seem. It only takes a little time and consideration to create an inclusive mobile app, widening your app’s scope and inviting in that crucial 15%.
Ready to build or update an app for all users? Let’s learn more about inclusivity and ways to improve the accessibility of your mobile app.
The Value of Inclusivity in Business
Over the course of the past decade, businesses in various industries have come to realize the importance of app accessibility. Whether people like it or not, mobile apps are here to stay, with the average smartphone owner using about ten apps per day. In addition, industries that have traditionally thrived offline are now expanding into the online space, creating a widening field of available apps for every brand and consumer need.
But as we’ve mentioned, 15% of the global population experiences a physical or mental disability, hindering their ability to use certain technologies. With so many app options on the market, failing to accommodate the needs of these users is a surefire way to drive them into the arms of any competitors with better accessibility.
Don’t let your app’s limitations hand users to the competition. By incorporating elements of inclusivity within your mobile app development plan, you can quickly and easily increase your mobile app’s customer base and overall satisfaction.
Plus, showing that your brand cares about inclusivity will increase the appeal of the mobile app, even for those without a disability. Brand ethos is more important than ever before. And while all age groups use mobile apps on a regular basis, the people who spend the most time on their mobile devices are between the ages of 24 and 35 — aka, Gen Z and millennials. Users in these demographics are much more likely to support a socially conscious brand. So when your mobile app has inclusive features, people are much more likely to choose your app in favor of a competitor.
Mobile App Features that Support Inclusivity
Designing a mobile app that is accessible to people with mobility, hearing, vision, or literacy impairments doesn’t need to be as difficult as you might think. The key to creating an inclusive, accessible app is empathy for those with disabilities and the technical knowledge to apply this to mobile app development.
In the past few years, Android and iOS have become more open to supporting accessibility than ever before. However, mobile app developers and UX designers must have experience working with these features to apply them effectively. If you’re interested in making your app more inclusive, first and foremost consider working with experienced mobile app developers and designers who can bring your vision to life. They will help you implement accessible features and techniques, likely to include a few of the following.
Design for a Variety of Screen Sizes
When designing for mobile devices, developers must account for smaller screens and custom aspect ratios. Due to the small screen size of mobile devices, the amount of information that users can view is limited. If a user happens to have poor eyesight, they will need to magnify the content, which further inhibits the amount of information they can view. These tips will allow you to use a small screen size effectively:
- Limit the information you display on each page compared to a typical design for a desktop.
- Use a sensible default size for touch controls and content so that it is easily readable for users with poor vision.
- For greater accessibility when placing form fields, ensure that your design has them below each label rather than beside the label.
Use Thoughtful Touch Targets and Placement
Modern mobile devices can display information at a high resolution, which allows developers to incorporate a multitude of interactive elements on the screen despite its small size. However, each element must be an adequate size and distance apart so that users don’t experience challenges interacting with the content.
Ensure that each tap target is a sufficient size so that users can press each button quickly, even if they are in a rush. For users who may have issues with fine motor control, mobile app developers should also maintain inactive space surrounding each touch target. Furthermore, each touch target should be easy to tap no matter how the user holds their mobile device.
Keep Device Gestures Simple and Provide Feedback
To create an app that is more accessible to various users, the actions that users perform to use the app should be simple. This is especially important for users with dexterity impairments. Mobile app users should also be able to correct their mistakes quickly if they press the wrong button or enter data incorrectly.
Many mobile app developers incorporate customized gestures in place of confirmation dialogs to increase accessibility. To clarify the function of each element of the app, the URLs and buttons should appear as an action that is separate from the content of each page. In addition, a developer should change the text style for the actionable features of the app to ensure that users can discern the content from the touchable buttons.
Ensure Consistent Layouts and Templates
Most mobile app developers are aware that it is aesthetically preferable to create consistent designs, but if you are designing an app with inclusivity in mind, creating a consistent experience becomes even more critical. For users with disabilities, an inconsistent design can be complicated or even distressing to navigate. When you are developing an app that is accessible for those with visual, auditory, or mobility impairments, the user experience should remain the same on each page.
For instance, most mobile apps incorporate a title, logo, navigation bar, and search bar. To create a consistent experience for users, place the design elements in the same place on each screen. When your design remains consistent, users with impairments can easily stay in control of their experience.
Provide Easy Methods for Data Entry
Another great way to create an app that everyone can enjoy is by allowing users to enter data multiple ways. If a user has an impairment, it can be challenging to type their data. To resolve this issue, give users the option to enter data using a Bluetooth keyboard or speech-to-text, in addition to the keyboard on their mobile device. Mobile app developers should also reduce the amount of text entry required to use the app by including more inclusive features like checkboxes, radio buttons, or selection menus.
Typing is a time-consuming way to enter data, even for people without disabilities. Incorporate alternative data entry methods, like autofill or the option to transfer data from another application. As a result, your mobile app will be more accessible, and the overall user experience will be more pleasurable for everyone in your audience.
Inclusive Color and Content
The color handling you use for your mobile app is also key to the overall user experience. The wrong color scheme will make it impossible for the user to adequately view information, especially on the small screen of a mobile device. If you put a lighter colored text on a white background or dark text on a black background, the content will be challenging for people with vision impairments to read. In the same fashion, relying heavily on combinations that are common in color blindness — such as red and green — may create confusion and navigation difficulties for your audience.
While the colors and contrast of your app are essential, so is how you present the content. Although whimsical font types may be aesthetically pleasing, they can be challenging to read. To accommodate people with visual impairments, avoid overly curly, cursive fonts.
Improve Your App Accessibility with CodigoDelSur
Although talk of inclusivity and accessibility is becoming more common amongst mobile app developers, the elements used to create an accessible design are still fairly new. Many mobile app developers fail to create an inclusive app simply because they lack the technical knowledge to do so. If you need assistance bringing your vision to life and creating an app that is easy for everyone to use, our team at CodigoDelSur is more than capable of getting the job done.
A sleek, accessible, and professionally-finished app will help make space for your ideas in the current marketplace. To make sure you’re launching an app that delivers on all fronts, our team of expert designers and developers at CodigoDelSur are here to assist you.
Since 2007, CodigoDelSur has helped nearly 200 US-based startups design and develop a wide range of mobile apps and websites, including apps designed specifically with inclusivity in mind. Our team of software developers leverages their technical expertise and knowledge of usability, engagement, and growth hacking to scale your business exponentially. These 100+ designers and coders know how to apply their knowledge to create innovative, cutting-edge digital products for all audiences, and were selected for the CodigoDelSur team based on their talent, thirst for knowledge, and supreme dedication to their craft.
Through the consistent creation of stunning, functional websites and mobile applications, CodigoDelSur is rising to the forefront of our industry. We’re always ready to apply the latest developments in new, exciting technologies for your brand and create valuable, engaging user experiences that will keep your customers coming back for more.
Ready to make your inclusive app a reality? Contact our team today and find out how we can revolutionize your brand’s digital experience!