What the Heck is Inclusive Design?

In this article, the accessibility editor for Smashing Magazine discusses inclusive web design. Heydon Pickering calls himself a front-end developer, user experience designer and accessibility engineer. Although his article is complex, his message is simple.  “Inclusive design means designing things for people who aren’t you.” Heydon Pickering’s Inclusive Design Tips:

Respect conventions

Your content should be fresh, inventive, radical but your website shouldn’t. Adopt accepted conventions in the appearance, placement and coding. Users aren’t there to experience interface design; they’re there to use an interface. In other words: stop showing off .

Don’t be exact

“Perfection is the enemy of good,” but the pursuit of perfection isn’t just to be avoided because nothing ever gets finished. Exacting design also makes things inflexible and brittle. If your design depends on elements retaining precise coordinates, they’ll break easily when your users start adjusting font settings or zooming. Make fewer decisions in the interface so your users can make more decisions for it.

Enforce simplicity

The virtue of simplicity is difficult to overestimate. The simpler an interface is, the easier it is to use for all kinds of users. Simpler interfaces require less code to write,. There are many design decisions that require user research, but keeping things simple is always the right thing to do. Do a little and do it well, for as many people as you can.

Read Heydon’s entire article here!