They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. As designers, we need to remember that the same is true of color and all visual abilities. It’s estimated that 4.5% of the global population experience color blindness (that’s 1 in 12 men and 1 in 200 women), 4% suffer from low vision (1 in 30 people), and 0.6% are blind (1 in 188 people). It’s easy to forget that we’re designing for this group of users since most designers don’t experience such problems.
Today’s products must be made accessible for everyone–regardless of a person’s abilities. Designing for users with visual or other impairments is an example of how designers can practice empathy and learn to experience the world from someone else’s perspective.
Creating accessible design seems like a difficult task. Fortunately, as a designer you don’t need to become an expert on visual impairment issues; you can make sure that your design is good for this group of users by keeping in mind a few solid best practices, which we’ll review in this article.
One caveat: not every best practice will apply to all users with visual impairments, but at least some of it will apply to a very large majority of them.