Usability and UX Best Practices Checklist

When designing for digital content, aesthetics are equally as important as accessibility. Even if you’re new to digital accessibility, the good news is that designing with accessibility and usability in mind is not only great for people with disabilities, but also elevates the experience for everyone.

On the other hand, assessing, remediation, monitoring, and incorporating accessibility into your future digital efforts has proven time and again to be a successful risk management strategy.

Bear in mind that just because digital content is “accessible” does not mean it is “usable.” Below are some guidelines to keep in mind to create content that is both usable and accessible.

  • “Active” images have alt text: For any visual or audio components that will help a user understand the intended message, alt text is very helpful. If there are images that help convey ideas, make sure the text communicates what a user would be unable to see. Alt text is especially critical for diagrams and more complicated images; decorative images are up to your discretion. Sometimes alt text for too many decorative images makes the page burdensome to get through.
  • Videos are captioned: This will not only help deaf users but also those viewing your content in an environment where they may not have the sound on their device on, such as in a public place.
  • Page structures have a clear hierarchy: There should be a title that explains what a user will find on the page, sub-headers that will help break up the content for easier skimming, and images that support the written content.
  • Color scheme has suitable contrast: Choose colors with a contrast that enables low vision or color-blind users to distinguish between text and elements. This helps sighted users as well, especially when consuming content on a mobile device in an outdoor or brightly lit environment.
  • Easy to follow navigation: Ensure that the content and page structure is set up such that no matter where a user is on the page they will be able to navigate to a different section, understand where they are on the page and understand how that page relates to the digital content throughout. For example, a navigation menu that includes breadcrumbs will always show a user exactly where they are and how the pages relate to one another.
  • Clear instructions for form inputs: This will prevent user errors.
  • Adequate room for error messages: Make sure to leave room in between form inputs in the design to allow for clearly legible error messages. Also ensure messages are helpful as possible to assist the user in resolving the error.

Inclusive UX is a must for successful digital content. If you’re looking for a UX expert to help you improve the user experience for your website, mobile experience, or app, The Paciello Group is there to help. Fill out our contact form and we’ll help you with all your UX and Usability concerns.

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