Why Inclusive Design Works for Social Media
from David | December 23, 2020
When we look at the sheer number of users on social media today, it’s easy to believe that everyone experiences these apps the same way. The unfortunate truth is that many people have disabilities that limit their interaction with various forms of social media. The World Health Organization notes that 15% of the world’s population live with a disability. Inclusive design brings the wonder of social media to users who might otherwise not experience it. But why does integrative design even work?
Bring people together
When planning a social media app, you need to consider the goals of your network. If your goal in social media design is to bring people together and fill in the gaps, you need to find a way to help users connect through your medium. For example, TikTok uses subtitles for its videos. Video is one of the best ways to connect with people, and even users who are hard of hearing can see video posts. The problem is, they can’t hear what’s going on in the recording. Fortunately, TikTok includes subtitles that allow users to view videos and follow the words even if they are hearing impaired. This inclusion makes their social network more accessible, even to those who traditionally couldn’t participate.
Image descriptions and alt text are useful
If you have users who may be using the app you created through a screen reader because they have problems with their eyesight, Alt-Images can help you understand what’s going on. Social media networks with a lot of visual content benefit from having alternative descriptions for their images. LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter have built-in image descriptions so visually impaired users can have deep and meaningful interactions with their apps. By contacting these users with different abilities, these networks increase their practical user base.
Develop simpler hashtags
While a lot of people abuse hashtags, they actually have a use on social media sites. Time Camp informs us that hashtags were originally designed to categorize information so that similar posts can be easily found. The problem with a lot of hashtags is that users use lower or upper case letters for the whole thing, making it difficult to interpret. Automatically designing a camel box in hashtags would allow a more convenient user interface choice. It also makes it easier for people with print disabilities to understand what a hashtag is saying from the start. This type of inclusive design goes a long way in helping people get more out of their social media experience.
Inclusive design is the future
When you look at the world around us, more and more people are realizing the need to be included in our applications and society. We no longer pretend that people who are born or who develop disabilities are less people. Social media design needs to reflect this mindset in order to remain relevant in the 21st century. Social media should be there for everyone, and anything that opens its wonders to a wider audience should be promoted.