Designing for a Diverse User Base

When developing and designing a product we often tend to focus on our normal client base. However, like UX trends, types of users are always changing. No two users are alike, so we shouldn’t be marketing to them as if they were the same. As marketers and developers we have to be able to change and adapt so we can attract multiple types of users. In this article we will be discussing some of the best ways to design for a diverse user base.

Inclusive photos and graphics

Images can be a powerful tool for grasping an audience's attention and improving engagement. However, you don’t want to lose their attention with subpar stock images that don’t showcase your unique brand. If you want to ditch stock photos all together try having users share their own personal photos or hiring a photographer to bring your product to life. You should also try to select images that will relate to a large portion of the global population. Having realistic photos will appear more genuine to users and allow them to feel more connected to the brand. You should also try to showcase your product in an innovative way. Videos, animations, and flowcharts are just a few ways to add a little flair to your website.

508 Compliance

A main necessity of designing for a diverse user base is to remember the specific accessibility needs of users with impaired vision, hearing, or cognitive ability. 508 compliance refers to the standards and protocols required for federal agencies to ensure their services are accessible for the disabled. While this is not required for websites outside of government services, you should still consider building accessibility features into your website. There are multiple simple tips that can help transform your website. By accurately describing images through the use of alt tags, visually impaired users will be able to read text through a screen reader and understand the image being viewed on the screen. Another tip for designing for the visually impaired is to put periods in abbreviations. When abbreviating in HTML, putting periods between each letter will allow a screen reader to recognize the abbreviation instead of reading it out phonetically as a word.

Color Control

Color plays a major part in design and readability, this includes choosing main background and foreground colors that won’t put a strain on a user’s eyes, as well as being able to provide enough contrast for users with vision problems. One tip when writing content would be to underline your text links so that there is a color contrast between hyperlinked text and regular text. This allows for colorblind users to easily spot the hyperlink without having to hover over it with their cursors. You should also be wary of color choices in the design process. You should try to avoid using yellow, blue, and green close to one another since these often cause the most confusion.

When designing your website you should be sure to keep in mind the different needs of the user. Developing creative and accessible websites that will appeal to all users is a key part of any successful web design. At Red Shark Digital we can help you transform your brand through an innovative website and UX design. Contact us today for more information on our web development services!