Imaginative, creative graphic design that stops thumbs scrolling is a wonderful thing! Marketers should prioritise original and inventive design across the digital landscape. After all, nobody wants their daily trawl across the internet to be bland and boring, do they?
What also needs to be prioritised, however, is making that design accessible. For people with Dyslexia, Autism, ADHD, and Dyspraxia, visual stimuli are experienced differently, and it can be harder to process information.
Keeping graphic design neurodiversity-friendly does not mean making it bland. Accessibility should not ever be seen as a barrier to creativity. If anything, it breeds creativity, as designers have to think of further solutions to present information in ways that help others.
And, it just means that more of the world can enjoy your work.
As a neurodiverse team ourselves, inclusive design is important to us at Puddle!
So, we’ve put together a list of 3 things we consider to keep all our design accessible.
- Colours should be contrasted.
Neurodiverse folk, as well as people with low vision or colour blindness, could have difficulty when distinguishing one colour from another. So, we make sure to use high contrast between any colours we use.
This is especially important when using text. The colour of text shouldn’t blend into the background, and has to be easy to read. Highly legible, well-contrasted text and images are necessary.
Additionally, we make sure that colour isn’t the only visual way of conveying information. With a combination of images and text, even if the design is in greyscale, users should be able to understand.
Tip: to make sure that your design is accessible in terms of colour, put it in greyscale. Does it still make sense? If not, your information needs to be clearer.
- Linear, logical layouts.
Structure is important. Your information should flow in a way that makes sense. So, keep copy consistent, clear, and concise. Align text to the left, and use headers, short sentences, and bulleted/numbered lists.
To help support content, balance blocks of text with images. You can use icons next to headings, too, to make the text easier to understand.
Tip: visual hierarchy is a helpful pattern to follow. Meaning to arrange visual elements in order of importance, it directs users to the part of your design that stands out. Use size, colour, and contrast to draw attention to the important bits.
- Friendly fonts.
Make sure to choose a font that is as easy to read as possible. Sans-serif fonts are the way to go, and mono-spaced fonts tend to be less confusing.
Additionally, use bold text to highlight important information, rather than italics or underlining.
Tip: you could consider using OpenDyslexic – a handy free font designed to mitigate some of the common reading errors caused by dyslexia.
It is thought that around 20% of the population is neurodivergent. If your graphic design isn’t made for everyone, you could be shutting out a huge amount of people from accessing your content. These tips are just the tip of the iceberg – make sure to do your research into making all your content inclusive, from copy to brand design!
And, if you’re struggling, feel free to get in touch with us! Just send us an email at [email protected].