Nidhi Pradhan, Fiserv
January 15, 2022
In today’s digital era, every business is evolving to undergo digital transformation to understand how its strategy rule book has changed, and that it is playing by rules it doesn’t even realize it has learned.
During this digital transformation, content development has witnessed the changing client expectations for producing content that is more visible, yet all-inclusive, particularly on the web. This movement towards accessible visuals aided documentation is primarily powered by today’s users who represent a diverse set of learners with mixed needs including those who either have less time and will or are unable to read the information overload.
Effective infographics are the visual aids that can talk better than words. It tells stories and interprets the meaning of complex technical information in terms of mind maps, pictures, flow charts, graphs, diagrams, assembly guides, and screenshots. More visual elements and less text is a much more effective combination because it leads to a better synthesis of information.
However, according to World Health Organization, more than a billion people in the world live with some type of disability. It becomes the responsibility of all businesses to ensure a positive and engaging client experience. Content developers, therefore, must guarantee their content is universal and cater to every user’s needs.
So, what’s the solution to this problem — Accessible approach to infographics-based content strategy.
To develop all-inclusive content and achieve the desired self-sufficient client experience, businesses are adopting accessibility established by the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) — crafted by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). It offers “a single shared standard for web accessibility that meets the needs of individuals, organizations, and governments internationally.”
Web accessibility is most easily accomplished when the user is at the focus of the process. A series of guidelines laid out under the POUR principles of accessibility are a brilliant way to start. POUR brings together four main principles: information should be Perceivable, interfaces should be Operable, content should be Understandable, and the meaning of the content should be Robust to changes in the way users access it.
Image: An Infographic Representation of The Significance of Accessible Content
If you are unsure of how to make your content accessible, here we give you a few proposed best practices that you can begin with while developing user-preferred content.
Best Practices for Designing Accessible Infographics-based Content
- Provide disability choices for users to select from when they first access the web-based content.
- Create disability-friendly links
- Create links that are more descriptive. For instance, instead of “click here,” hyperlink the text that describes what the link leads to.
- Use longer links by hyperlinking two full words at least. This helps users with fine motor skills challenges click links more easily.
- Remove barriers for visually impaired users
- Add “Alt Text” description for every image.
- Apply the Heading settings on your text content (i.e., H1, H2, etc.).
- Use simple, bold fonts that are around 16pt in size.
- Avoid drag and drop, drop-down lists, or any branching interactions where possible, as screen readers usually don’t catch them.
- Design the layout of infographics to support dyslexic users
- Present text in a linear format for simplicity.
- Avoid high-contrast colors. With white background, prefer using dark grey text instead of black text.
- Practice the usage of bold font instead of italics to highlight a word or sentence in your notes.
- Use a lot of white space. Keep the paragraphs short and consider adding two spaces between them.
- Always keep information regarding technical support handy
- Provide an email ID, a phone number, or an instant messaging option to contact for support.
Content developers not only need to leverage infographics to empower their text, they also should create all-inclusive content for all types of users. The motivation is to start keeping accessibility in mind, rather than struggling for a retrofit later.
With the basic knowledge of POUR principles and the best practices for designing accessible infographics-based content, continue to dive deeper into those successful fit-for-all standards for accessibility. Your users will thank you while installing, using, or solving problems with your product!