Best Practices for Inclusive Design

Inclusive design gives more people the opportunity to enjoy your app by ensuring that everyone can use and understand it. These three best practices can help you create an inclusive app.

Design with Accessibility in Mind

Accessibility is not just about making information available to users with disabilities—it's about making information available to everyone, regardless of their capabilities or situation. Designing your app with accessibility in mind means prioritizing simplicity and perceivability and examining every design decision to ensure that it doesn't exclude users who have different abilities or interact with their devices in different ways.

Simplicity — Enabling familiar, consistent interactions that make complex tasks simple and straightforward to perform.

Perceivability — Making sure that all content can be perceived whether people are using sight, hearing, or touch.

Support Personalization

You already design your app to adapt to environmental variations—such as device orientation, screen size, resolution, color gamut, and split view—because you want people to enjoy your app in any context and on all supported devices. With minimal additional effort, you can design your app to support the accessibility features people use to personalize the ways they interact with their devices.

When you use standard controls to implement your app's UI, text and interface elements automatically adapt to several accessibility preferences, such as Bold Text, Larger Text, Invert Colors, and Increase Contrast.

Audit and Test Your App for Accessibility

An audit examines every element in your app and gives you a comprehensive list of issues to fix. Testing helps you ensure that all users can complete the most important tasks in your app, no matter how they interact with their devices.

When you test important user flows with accessibility features turned on, you gain an appreciation for the challenges of interacting with your device in different ways. You also discover places where your app fails to deliver a great user experience.

For example, a common user flow in a social media app might be "post a response to a comment." The tasks that make up this flow could include:

  • Read posted comments
  • Choose a comment for a response
  • Open the response view
  • Edit the response
  • Post the response

For each critical user flow in your app, turn on an accessibility feature, such as VoiceOver, Reduce Motion, or Large Text Size, and make sure that you can complete every task in the flow without difficulty. After you fix any problems you uncover, turn on a different accessibility feature and run through the user flow again.

Accessibility Inspector in Xcode helps you audit, test, and fix your app.