Accessibility for Designers

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accessibility for designers

Frequent Issues and Concerns Impacted by Design Work

Some of the biggest accessibility issues for web designers involve color, color contrast, and color indications. Here’s a rundown of frequent concerns and impactful solutions.

Concern: The web design text does not have a contrast ratio large enough to differentiate it from the design background. The contrast ratio must be large enough to ensure those with visual impairment can readily read the text.

Solution: Use a Color Contrast Checker to confirm contrast ratios meet WCAG 2.0 requirements.

Concern: There is confusion between difference between point, pixel, and em.

  • A pixel is a single square or dot in your image. A 10×10 image is 100 pixels.
  • A point is a measurement. One point is exactly 1/72th of an inch.
  • An em is a relative size. 1 em is 16 points. All other fonts are specified relatively to 1 em. This allows for responsive design.

Confusion between these three terms can lead design teams to make accessibility errors, especially when reviewing their work with contrast checkers.

Solution: Refer your design team to a Point/Pixel/EM conversion chart so everyone is talking in the same unit and on the same page.

Concern: Headings and links are distinguished from one another with color alone. This is particularly problematic for those with color blindness, which impacts millions of Americans.

Don’t do this:

accessibility for designers

Solution: Use font style, size, and text decoration (such as underlines) to give order to your headings and links.

These are just a few of the most common accessibility errors designers make. Need more accessibility resources? Check these out:

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About the Author
Kylie Larson is a content wrangler, helping both small businesses and large organizations get their message up and out. When she's not writing and organizing online, you'll find her walking the dog, with a camera in hand, riding the Chicago blue line, and in the midst of a home renovation project that never ends. Connect with her at

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