Kiandra Insights


Cassie Wallace - Kiandra Head of Software Development
Cassie Wallace
Head of Software Development
November 12, 2022
Cassie Wallace
Head of Software Development
November 12, 2022
Designing for people who are mobility-imparied - a Kiandra series of accessibility guidelines for sofrware development

When people are mobility-impaired, meaning their gross motor skills are limited, their ability to navigate the technological world is impacted.

According to the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI): "Physical disabilities (sometimes called 'motor disabilities') include weakness and limitations of muscular control (such as involuntary movements including tremors, lack of coordination, or paralysis), limitations of sensation, joint disorders (such as arthritis), pain that impedes movement, and missing limbs."

Accessibility for people with motor impairments

The most common assistive technologies used by people with a motor impairment are alternative keyboard, head wand, trackball mouse or other alternative devices, mouth stick, single switch devices, speech recognition software, puff and sip devices, eye-tracking technologies, etc. Keep in mind, accessible device controls and features affect the user experience, even more so for someone with a mobility impairment.

Designing for users motor impairments:

  • Ensure users are able to navigate through links on an application via keyboard control.
  • Many users have difficulty with mouse movements and may also have problems holding down keyboard keys simultaneously. Ensure a good design so these actions can be avoided.
  • When designing for mobile, ensure you cater for device accessibility options to leverage the phone’s functionality.
  • Face ID or Face Unlock on iOS and Android can be used to fill out passwords on forms, rather than using keyboard entry.
  • Make the size of targets and UI controls appropriate for people with mobility impairments. For example, pop-ups often use close buttons that are too small to select.
  • Implement a reliable zoom feature that does not distort or make content illegible.
  • Consider the time that needs to be spent on a task and don’t rush users to complete an action.
  • Allow drop-down menus to stay open if they are clicked on.
  • Consider designing for invoice command software and alternative keyboards.

We have created an infographic to help illustrate what to be aware of when designing and developing for people with motor impairments: Designing-for-users-with-mobility-impairments.pdf

If you are keen to reach more people by making your digital assets more accessible, Contact Us today and we can help you make this happen.

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