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Is Digital Accessibility Truly Inclusive? Here’s Some Real Truths About It

Anto Semeraro 32

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Editorials

Is Digital Accessibility Truly Inclusive? Here’s Some Real Truths About It

Exploring the reality of accessible content and questioning our digital habits

Anto Semeraro
JavaScript in Plain English
8 min read1 day ago

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Introduction

In an age when the digital world promises inclusion and connectivity, one might pause and wonder if we are truly bridging gaps or we are inadvertently creating new ones.

UI designers and tech enthusiasts hail the digital world as being universally accessible, but is it, really? This editorial will question our well-trodden beliefs, delve into the true essence of inclusivity, and scrutinize our digital habits. It’s time to have a conversation about the reality we’re shaping.

Fauxels

The Digital Mirage: Consistency in UI Design

A consistent design is often preached as a beacon of user-friendly interfaces, and it offers a promise — a promise of a seamless user experience, devoid of any cognitive hurdles. But let’s pause and reassess.

Is a consistent design synonymous with accessibility?

The standard argument for consistent design centers around familiarity. The idea that once a user learns a system, repeated patterns will minimize confusion. But isn’t familiarity a double-edged sword? Are we sure users see the same patterns repeatedly, and are we training them or limiting them?

Keep in mind also that what might be consistent for one user base, might be foreign to another. So, when we design consistently, whom are we truly serving?

Why do we equate familiarity with ease?

People are creatures of habit. We like our coffee brewed a certain way, our daily routines set in a specific order, and yes, our digital interfaces in predictable patterns. Familiarity reduces cognitive load. But herein lies the paradox. What’s familiar to a Gen Z navigating their fifth app of the day might be a maze to a Boomer just looking to read the news online.