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Universal Accessibility In Product Design | Seattle Interactive Conference 2018


Published on

Treyce Meredith, Product Designer, Carbon Five
Devi Pellerin, Senior Designer, Carbon Five

Design’s primary function is to make something useful. Unfortunately, most products are not accessible to everyone. For adults and children with non-typical cognition and learning styles, technology can help even the playing field, combats negative stereotypes, and take into account their deficits and capitalize on their cognitive strengths.

We will look at design solutions targeting specific conditions like ADHD, Dyslexia, and Autism -- and the core problems technology is trying to solve. We'll then widen the lens to compare how many of our most commonly used devices and apps use the same tactics to achieve universal accessibility for all.

Published in: Design
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Universal Accessibility In Product Design | Seattle Interactive Conference 2018

  1. 1. Universal Accessibility in Product Design: Designing for alternative cognitive styles and learning disabilities
  2. 2. About Us Treyce Meredith Product Designer, Carbon Five Worked with several ed-tech start ups in San Fransisco. Diagnosed with Dyslexia and Dysgraphia at age 8. Devi Pellerin Senior Product Designer, Carbon Five History of design for educational apps for kids. History of ADHD in family and diagnosed at age 37.
  3. 3. It’s a brain thing! People with neurocognitive disorders have greater difficulty with one or more cognitive abilities. Including but not limited to… What are cognitive disabilities? SpellingReading Writing Math Cognition Executive Functions Speaking Auditory Processing Visual Processing
  4. 4. 2.4 public school students 4.6 million Americans 18% decline in diagnoses What are cognitive disabilities?
  5. 5. The most common cognitive disorders ADHD Autism Dislexia Visual Processing Definitions from
  6. 6. Impacts focus, self-control and other skills important in daily life. It’s caused by differences in brain anatomy and wiring, and often runs in families. ADHD Difficulty planning & making decisions Starting and finishing tasks Concentrating and blocking distractions Short term memory Regulate emotions Listening - Processes Language differently Communication - Difficulty organizing thoughts into structured verbal language
  7. 7. ADHD is like…
  8. 8. ADHD is like…
  9. 9. ADHD is like…
  10. 10. Impacts reading comprehension, spelling and writing. It is not a problem with eyesight. Definition by Dyslexia
  11. 11. Science! Dyslexic S???nce Seyence Sience Sinence Science S??n?e It’s your 500th time spelling: Science It’s your 500th time spelling: Science Non-Dyslexic
  12. 12. Dyslexia is like…
  13. 13. A visual processing or perceptual disorder refers to a hindered ability to make sense of information taken in through the eyes. This is different from problems involving sight or sharpness of vision. Difficulties with visual processing affect how visual information is interpreted or processed by the brain. Definition by Visual Processing
  14. 14. Visual Processing disorders are like…
  15. 15. Visual Processing disorders are like…
  16. 16. Write your name on your paper. Draw your dog on your paper. Visual Processing disorders are like…
  17. 17. A lifelong developmental disability that affects how a person communicates with and relates to other people. It also affects how they make sense of the world around them. Autism effects people differently. Autism Social Communication Challenges Recognizing emotions/intentions in others Expressing emotions Recognizing facial expressions Restricted, repetitive behaviors Ritualistic routines Repetitive body movements Narrow or extreme interests in specific topics
  18. 18. Autism is like… Video by The National Autistic Society
  19. 19. Neurological differences are to be recognized and respected as any other evolutionary trait - and a product of evolution and genetic variation. Devon MacEachron: Stigma VS Reality Neurodiversity
  20. 20. ★ Combat negative stereotypes & stigmas ★ Reduce depression & anxiety ★ Provide tools for teachers that empower! ★ Reduce struggles in relationships, work, and life from living with an invisible “disability”. How Design can help
  21. 21. ✦ Show and track progress - Encourage accountability in a way that feels rewarding! ✦ Frictionless and easy to learn - Make me feel smart! ✦ Help me when I need it, not when I don’t! ✦ Utilize Game Design strategies: Explore, Onboard/train, Scaffold, Provide Meaning Design Principles: 1 Motivation & Engagement
  22. 22. ★ A sense of ownership & control ★ Flexible features and workflows for different styles of working & learning ★ Learn at my own pace - Customized tracks and scaffolding Design Principles: 2 Personalization
  23. 23. ★ Keep UI simple and consistent - Avoid cluttered UI ★ Reduce Cognitive Overload - Keep it simple! ★ Strategic use of color and shape relationships ★ Avoid bright contrasting colors, simple colors ★ Avoid patterned backgrounds Design Principles: 3 Sensory Issues
  24. 24. ★ Consistent navigation - In appearance and behavior ★ Simple and clear hierarchy ★ Make links obvious Design Principles: 4 Consistency
  25. 25. ★ Provide visual alternatives to textual material ★ Avoid metaphors, figures of speech and idioms ★ Avoid walls of text and use simple sentences and bullets instead Design Principles: 5 Communication
  26. 26. Let’s break it down
  27. 27. Image via Asana blog Asana: Timeline Sensory Issues: Strategic use of color & shape. Tactile. Communication: Simple draggable bars. Not drop down text selectors Motivation: Filter to see incomplete and complete tasks
  28. 28. Image via Asana blog Asana Sensory Issues: Strategic user of color. High priority UI elements in full color, secondary in more subdued grey Motivate/empower: Users compelled to cooperate which create a sense of accountability and community Motivate & empower Feedback in the application from teammates and peers. Give kudos via a “like” button to gi recognition
  29. 29. Elevate - Brain Training Image via Elevate Motivating and engaging ADHD and dyslexics benefit from scaffolding, progress and tracking.
  30. 30. Elevate - Brain Training Image via Elevate Personalized Learn at your own pace. Set up length and amount of gameplay per day Motivate and engate Learn at your own pace. Set up length and amount of gameplay per day
  31. 31. Image via Grammarly blog Grammerly Motivate/empower: Users don’t need to worry about misspellings because the keyboard helps you correct mistakes. Personalized You are free to ignore suggestions and add new words to your own personal dictionary.
  32. 32. Image via Grammarly blog Grammerly Personalized Tell Grammerly what you are writing and who it is for. The software tailors corrections for your use case. Personalized Reports help you understand how you are doing, and what you are doing.
  33. 33. Slack Image via slack blog Sensory Issues Pulling side conversations into threads and unread. Help the user understand what is happening.
  34. 34. Toca Store Image via Elevate Communication Learn words through visual representations Communication Learn social skills through interacting with characters and and pictures
  35. 35. Image via Slack blog Slack Personalized Getting to pick and customize your color help users not have overwhelming experiences.
  36. 36. Image via
  37. 37. Thanks so much! Devi Pellerin Treyce Meredith Email: Email: Twitter @babytreyce