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Common mistakes in designing accessibility

Poor design choices can make navigating your application more difficult for users with disabilities. By reviewing the list of the most common design mistakes, you can improve the quality of your UI, and make it more accessible.

Structural errors

The following list includes the most common errors in UX design and the choice of UI components:

  • Defining headings through formatting rather than markup.
  • Using link controls as buttons.
  • Using containers that update silently in the background.
  • Using small link areas that are difficult to navigate for people with dexterity issues.
  • Embedding non-accessible documents, such as PDFs.

Image errors

The following list includes the most common errors related to the use of images:

  • Using images and icons without alternative text.
  • Adding alternative text to purely decorative images and icons.
  • Not providing meaningful alternative text or using the same descriptive text for different resources.

Design errors

The following list includes the most common errors in designing for accessibility:

  • Not using contrasting colors.
  • Adding alternative text to unimportant or decorative elements, which crowds feedback from assistive technology such as screen readers.
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