Updated: Oct 5, 2020
Inclusive design has taken over on the web. Even Google ranks accessible web pages higher in its results. Creating an inclusive website, virtual event, online event invitation, or pretty much anything that people will be able to “see” online is a good thing. The Internet connects a large and endless diverse array of people. Even if social media and online streaming isn’t technically required by Web Content & Accessibility Guidelines, it’s still a good thing to follow the guidelines and make your content as inclusive as possible. After all, you want as many people as possible to be able to enjoy your social presence, right?
Inclusive design aims to deliver an amazing user experience to as many people as possible. This means shifting away from a “one-size-fits-all” mindset. Instead, account for a wide range of diversity. This includes, ability, age, gender, language, and more.
Create a variety of ways for people to engage
The best solutions start with edge cases as a basis for creating inclusive designs. Closed captions are a prime example of this practice. Not only do they assist people with hearing impairments, they can act as language learners, and enhance viewership in low or no-sound environments.
The next easiest design method is to add text descriptions to images. On a website, this is called “alt text.” On social media, when you post a picture, describe it in your post - help the visually impaired to understand what you’re posting and highlighting with your image. When giving a presentation on your live stream or in a conference room, avoid the overuse of caps.
Full-caps can be difficult to read and misinterpreted by screen readers.
Why accessibility matters for social media and online events
No media or event strategy is complete without inclusive design considerations. By not having a strategy, you miss out on connecting with a larger audience. A survey of Facebook users in 50 countries found that 30% of people report difficulty with at least one of the following:
Walking or grasping with their hands
Non-inclusive content and experiences push people away, and it’s not always easy to pinpoint when that’s happening. Up to 71% of excluded web visitors will just leave your site and not come back. Keeping online events accessible means you need to recognize exclusion. Learn from your followers and present information in the clearest way possible.
Include captions in videos
Closed captions are crucial for viewers with hearing impairments and can enhance the experience for other viewers. YouTube provides auto-captioning options, whereas Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and Snapchat require that captions be burned in or encoded in advance.
Presentations with text:
Use an adequate font size. Make sure the font is legible, especially if used in images or places that aren’t modifiable.
Limit sentence length. Sentences or lists that are too long can interfere with readability and retention.
Be thoughtful about representation
Barriers to inclusion are not just physical. If your brand uses photos or illustrations of people, representation should be top of mind.
It’s a basic marketing principle that brands should create content their audience can see themselves in. But too often brands over-represent young, white, straight, able-bodied, men in their imagery. Not only does this often miss the mark, it can also marginalize those who don’t fit that description.
If your presenters lack diversity, seek out other ways to include different perspectives. Listen to your audience and request feedback often. Be open to the feedback you receive, make sure your contact information is easy for followers to find.
As Google’s senior designer Kara Gates says, “If you want to change the world you have to include it.” Whether you’re creating a promotional video or doing a live stream, make it a priority to show diversity. Listen to your audience and request feedback. Be open to the feedback you receive and make sure your contact information is easy for followers to find. You can also send out forms through free sites like Survey Monkey to poll your audience about your content and what they’d like to see next!
Chandler Business Group is dedicated to helping you include everyone in your online event and YouTube streaming event. We can make sure closed captions are included, keep your graphics fresh and easy to read, and your presentations the right size for all viewers. We want you to succeed with your current and future audiences. Contact us today to find out how we can help!