The Importance of Accessibility in a Mobile App
What is an Accessible Mobile App?
Accessibility is the design of mobile apps for individuals with disabilities. These disabilities could be anything from hearing to mobility-related. Depending on what your app does, it’s important to understand all areas of your target market and how everyone can use your mobile application. You may need to include support on your app for people to be able to interact in the way you intend them to. For example, if you have users of your app that are blind you may want to include a voice recognition offering all users an optimal experience.
Learning from Web Development of Accessible Apps
Web developers have been making websites far more accessible for disabled users for over two decades now. However, when websites are first created the main priority is for the site to actually function with less prominence placed on accessibility for all users. However, recently website development companies are mindful of implementing websites with the appropriate access and ergonomics based on government regulations. Although, this isn’t the case for mobile apps, where there is no guidance or regulations in place about accessibility support. You must see it as an opportunity rather than a hindrance because it can help your business grow.
Why is Accessibility Support Vital for Native Mobile Apps?
Around 15% of people around the world suffer from some form of disability or impairment, with many underlying disabilities that are not explicitly visible or made clear. Mobile apps have become a big part of most people’s lives with a large proportion of individuals, especially amongst younger generations making use of mobile apps on a daily basis. It’s important to bear in mind that 1 in 7 people may not be able to access your app because of their disability or impairment. If you’re unsure as to how to go about implementing accessibility support on your application, both Android and iOS offer tools that can help you offer a smooth in-app experience for all users. Voice assistants like Alexa and Siri are starting to become universal and tactile feedback such as the vibrations feature in Google’s Material Design guidelines. This shows that it’s important to implement accessibility features within mobile app development.
Advantages for Business
Initially, perhaps you’re more interested in your content, ads, and downloads in terms of generating your business revenue. However, support for disabled and impaired individuals on your app will surely give you an advantage over competitors that do not offer this level of support. Happier customers that can navigate around your app with ease will lead to better reviews, and subsequently, more app downloads. The benefits don’t end there, as inclusivity will not only transform the user experience but will enhance your brand image and increase brand loyalty amongst users.
The Importance of Testing Your Accessibility Features
As soon as your app has been designed and developed, it’s important that you complete some tests to ensure that each feature works. For example, testing if the dynamic font sizes are enabled for partially sighted users. The app also has to be verified to ensure that all features are transcribed correctly.
The development of mobile apps for the disabled and or users with impairments requires a unique approach. It’s important that you take into consideration the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.1) which outline the international recommendations for improved web accessibility. These accessibility provisions come with financial, moral and legal advantages and there should be no reason for you not to implement accessibility within your business and your products.
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