Why Is Mobile App Accessibility a Critical Part of Mobile App Development?
Mobile application accessibility is the ultimate thing required to connect with a broader range of audiences. Entrepreneurs and developers often overlook the concept of app accessibility, which leads them to miss out on some important aspects of app development & app download numbers. In this blog, we will discuss “what is accessibility in mobile app development ?” and its various facets.
Technological advancement is like a blessing in disguise. It is helping people meet their demands, and more than ever, people have started relying on apps and technology. But, imagine a situation where the application’s audio is not audible, or the text is difficult to read for a visually impaired person?
And there comes into the picture, “app-accessibility.” Well, instead of referring to it as a “nice-to-have” thing, developers and the team members should make it a “must-to-have” aspect for developing a completely accessible app for audiences of all types.
As per the definition given by Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI), mobile application accessibility refers to the concept of making websites and applications more accessible to people with disabilities while using mobile phones as well as other devices. Other devices include,
- Phones and tablets;
- Smart TVs;
- Wearable devices;
- Car dashboards;
- Airplane seatback monitors;
- household appliances;
- Variety of Internet Of Things devices;
In other words, a mobile application should be accessible to people with visual, hearing, or physical disabilities. You can not disregard their participation in boosting your app download numbers.
There are some given things that you can do to increase mobile app accessibility, while other things will come as a part of the research. As the mobile application market evolved, we got to know the importance of video engagement and the role of video transcription, etc.
Similarly, evolution will let us know more about the mobile app accessibility requirements. However, there are few common things that you need to address for enhancing accessibility and thereby increasing your application’s visibility. This might make you wonder why mobile app accessibility is important? We have an answer to this question too.
Consider a person who is suffering from mobility disability but is an important part of your target audience. How would a person with physical mobility disability tap spontaneously on the app to have its access? Sadly, if your app doesn’t support this, you will have to lose on such a target audience.
Second, how would a person with hearing and visual impairments be able to grasp the application’s content? If the app fails to satisfy their needs, you lose this segment of the audience too.
There are many such scenarios where a person who is willing to try the application fails using it because of the lack of mobile app accessibility.
If we trust the numbers of the US, there are around 57 million people with a disability. Out of which, 20 million have a physical disability, 8 million have a vision disability, 7.5 million can’t process the sound of the application. This is not something that can be considered a minority; the numbers are huge and are likely to affect your popularity.
As you can see, the numbers may cover a larger chunk of your target audience who may face difficulty using your application. Now picture a situation where these people are going to try your app and enjoy it to the fullest. mobile app accessibility will let them love the app to the fullest. And therefore, popular mobile app development platforms like iOS, Android, and Windows have started taking steps in support of app accessibility. You need to update your hired mobile app developers with your requirements and ensure its implementation over respective platforms.
What’s stored in for you if you implement mobile app accessibility in your mobile app?
- The obvious achievement by implementing app accessibility is a higher number of app downloads.
- You can reach out to the target audience as expected.
- You can differentiate your application from the competition.
- The application can have a good number of feedback with positive reviews.
- You can create a brand name more easily with an accessible application.
- Mobile app-accessibility standards are yet evolving. You have a better chance to create a benchmark app. However, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines are used as standards in current times.
What should you do next?
How to implement app-accessibility support?
You can check out WCAG standards to have a detailed knowledge of the mobile app accessibility requirements. We have listed a few best practices to improve accessibility.
- Include captions for video and audio content;
- Avoid having a time-based video or audio;
- Make sure that the captions you include move in sync with the audio or video. The asynchronous caption may affect the app experience.
- Optimize the speed of the video and the captions. Too slow or too fast would again ruin the experience.
- Ensure that the app has text-to-speech compatibility. Audiences who have a visual disability should be able to gauge the image, video, or GIF content through the speech.
- The application should provide a continuous content view/orientation between the rotations. Meaning, when the view changes view from portrait to landscape, the information should continue to flow consistently. As per the WCAG standards, users should not be required to scroll or zoom to continue watching the app content.
- Now moving on to addressing color blindness disability. Medical stats suggest that 8% of men and 0.5% of women are colorblind. This breaks down to 10 out of 100 users who are colorblind. In order to address this challenge and make the app accessible, you need to include a differentiating color between the foreground and the background of the app screen.
- Second, avoid using the same color variants that are not distinguishable by colorblind people.
- Next, do not include light flashes or alternating color backgrounds.
- As mentioned earlier, the app should not have a time-bound visual or audio. Restrict yourself from including page timeout features to make the application accessible for people facing learning disabilities.
- To increase the application’s accessibility, include buttons with proper tags that will guide the users with the app navigation. The font, color, and placement of the buttons should be clearly visible to the audience.
- The size of the text, color, and app brightness should be adjustable for easy visibility.
- App accessibility is surely not rocket science; however, it will take your efforts to make it compatible with the upcoming assistive technologies.
Mobile app-accessibility implementation is a collaborative effort of the development and the design teams. The design team should adopt best practices and have the required knowledge of typography, color combination, content representation, etc., to make the app accessible and appealing. Some of the app accessibility requirements should be tested during the mobile app development process, such as prototyping and UI/UX designing. App accessibility is a special approach, yet very simple.
Contact our team to develop an app that meets the app accessibility standards. Kody Technolab creates apps that will steal users’ attention and even engage audiences with disabilities. Thank you for reading!