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General Design

Whether you are designing content for the web, a Cougar Course, or a personal project the following design standards shoudl be considered. Although the following design principles posters/tips are geared towards various disabilities, they echo successful design tips for the web.


Designing for users on the autistic spectrum

Do:

  • use simple colours
  • write in plain English
  • use simple sentences and bullets
  • make buttons descriptive - for example, "Attach files"
  • build simple and consistent layouts

Don't:

  • use bright contrasting colours
  • use figures of speech and idioms
  • create a wall of text
  • make buttons vague and unpredictable - for example, "Click here"
  • build complex and cluttered layouts

Designing for users of screen readers

Do:

  • describe images and provide transcripts for video
  • follow a linear, logical layout
  • structure content using HTML5
  • build for keyboard use only
  • write descriptive links and heading - for example, "Contact us

Don't:

  • only show information in an image or video
  • spread content all over a page
  • rely on text size and placement for structure
  • force mouse or screen use
  • write uninformative links and heading - for example, "Click here"

Designing for users with low vision

Do

  • use good contrasts and a readable font size
  • publish all information on web pages (HTML)
  • use a combination of colour, shapes and text
  • follow a linear, logical layout -and ensure text flows and is visible when text is magnified to 200%
  • put buttons and notifications in context

Don't

  • use low colour contrasts and small font size
  • bury information in downloads
  • only use colour to convey meaning
  • spread content all over a page -and force user to scroll horizontally when text is magnified to 200%
  • separate actions from their context

Designing for users with physical or motor disabilities

Do

  • make large clickable actions
  • give form fields space
  • design for keyboard or speech only use
  • design with mobile and touch screen in mind
  • provide shortcuts

Don't

  • demand precision
  • bunch interactions together
  • make dynamic content that requires a lot of mouse movement
  • have short time out windows
  • tire users with lots of typing and scrolling

Designing for users who are deaf or hard of hearing

Do

  • write in plain English
  • use subtitles or provide transcripts for video
  • use a linear, logical layout
  • break up content with sub-headings, images and videos
  • let users ask for their preferred communication support when booking appointments

Don't

  • use complicated words or figures of speech
  • put content in audio or video only
  • make complex layouts and menus
  • make users read long blocks of content
  • don't make telephone the only means of contact for users

Designing for users with dyslexia

Do

  • use images and diagrams to support text
  • align text to the left and keep a consistent layout
  • consider producing materials in other formats (for example, audio and video)
  • keep content short, clear and simple
  • let users change the contrast between background and text

Don't

  • use large blocks of heavy text
  • underline words, use italics or write capitals
  • force users to remember things from previous pages - give reminders and prompts
  • rely on accurate spelling - use autocorrect or provide suggestions
  • put too much information in one place