Categories: Developers / Mobile Apps


An accessible mobile app benefits all users. Because consciously designing for people with visual, hearing or mobility conditions means designing for usability. And when you take the time to truly think through the simplest, most efficient way to solve a problem, your app will be all the better for it.

Here are some accessibility-themed design hacks that can make your app better overall.

Think in black and white

Test in grayscale to grade contrast and legibility.

Test in grayscale to grade contrast and legibility.

You’ve spent ages picking out that perfect color scheme. Your app looks chic, stylish and on-brand. But the vision-impaired or colorblind might not agree. Test your color scheme by flipping it to grayscale. If it’s still legible, readable and has great contrast, you’re good to go!

Have backups for voice

If you’ve ever held a meltdown over a voice menu, you’ll know where we’re going with this one. Natural Language Processing has made great strides, and computers are way better at understanding us. But people with speech difficulties (or even accents) will thank you for having a backup number-based menu. So will those in noisy environments or places where privacy matters.

Simplify your sign-ups

Finding and installing an app is already an ordeal. Don’t add to the friction with a sign-up screen that’s tougher to fill out than a cryptic crossword puzzle. Ask for only the information you absolutely need, and make input as seamless as possible. Do they really have to type out their entire email? Do you absolutely need their full name and a ten-digit password?

Need permission? Explain yourself.

Lead the way for users.

Lead the way for users.

Many users default to “no” when the first thing an app asks them to do is share permissions. After all, they haven’t had time to build trust yet. If you need permissions, add copy explaining what you’ll use their information for. If possible, unroll permissions in real time as they use the app so that the need (and value) is clear.

Give users feedback

If you live and breathe mobile apps you know intuitively how things work. But both younger and older users benefit hugely from feedback. So do will those with disabilities. Show clearly and succinctly what users need to do – and let them know when they’ve done it successfully. Don’t forget to build in feedback options for the visually impaired or hard of hearing.

Offer painless payments

Checkout pages can be even more frustrating than sign-up pages. Get them wrong, and you’ve lost goodwill (and money). Use a gateway API for mobile credit card payment integration – Stripe, Paypal, Braintree and even Amazon Payments are options. Now you can easily integrate debit or credit card payments.

Stay on script

On mobile, less is more. Keep copy short and simple, and follow established design hierarchy patterns. General users will thank you, and so will users with a disability. When you follow patterns and stick to the point, it’s easier for users to keep the task at hand in mind.

Have an idea for a mobile app and want to ensure that it’s user friendly? Get in touch!



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