Accessible design

Designing in an inclusive and accessible way

While understanding how to design in an inclusive and accessible way is a constant learning curve, there are some basic principles we always follow to ensure we deliver truly inclusive design.

hartley literature

Keep it
simple

One of the simplest ways to be inclusive is to keep everything as simple as possible. This is true for all touch points, from user experience (UX) to copy & content and brochure design.

Our considerations;

  • Recognisable icons: Choose commonly used icons that are easy to recognise and label icons with text.
  • Consistent meaning: Give each icon one meaning only and don’t use it elsewhere or for a different purpose.
  • Columns: Do not have more than one column of text on a page when it is intended to be viewed on screen only.
  • Composition: Images must be bold, clear and to the point. Don’t use distracting patterns or overbearing colours.
  • Supportive imagery: Use a relevant photograph, diagram or illustration to complement long written descriptions.
choose care website

Copy &
content

We write copy in plain English, keep sentences short and avoid metaphors or jargon. And we give a much thought to the layout.

Our considerations;

  • Alignment: Align large bodies of text to the left. Headings and small amounts of text can be centred, but never align to the right, or justify text.
  • Font size: As a general rule, use text size no smaller than 12pt.
  • Capital letters: Never use blocks of capital letters. Instead, use different font weights for emphasis and to pull out key information.
  • Legibility: Look for these characteristics in a font to maximise legibility and readability – broad horizontal proportions, unambiguous letter shapes, open spacing, robust stroke weight, large x-height, open counters, distinctive ascenders
  • Text descriptions: Images or photographs conveying information not covered in the main text must have a text description.

Colour &
contrast

Maintaining a good colour contrast ensures everyone can engage with our design.

Our considerations;

  • Colour contrast: Ensure there is at least 70% difference in colour value between the text and the background.
  • Tints: Avoid colour combinations that feature tints of the same colour.
  • Glare: Consider the text and background colours to reduce glare. A stark white background can be hard to read, but off-white/pale pastel backgrounds reduce glare.
  • Text on an image: Only place text on top of images if there is sufficient contrast. And consider placing it inside a holding shape so it can be read more easily.
  • Flashing images: Avoid using animated GIFs and flashing images.