social media icons such as twitter, Facebook and Instagram

What is inclusive design?

Inclusive design methods aim to deliver an amazing user experience to as many people as possible. In practice, that means shifting away from one-size-fits-all solutions for the “average user.” Instead, inclusive design accounts for a range of diversity—including ability, language, gender, age, and other factors—by creating a variety of ways for people to engage.

Why accessibility matters for social media?

A social media strategy without inclusive design considerations will miss out on connecting with a large audience. A recent survey of Facebook users in 50 countries found that more than 30 percent of people report difficulty with at least one of the following: seeing, hearing, speaking, organizing thoughts, walking, or grasping with their hands.

Worse still, non-inclusive content and experiences will push people away. And it’s not always easy to pinpoint when that’s happening. Excluded web visitors often don’t complain: 71 percent will just leave.

Some inclusive design tips for social media managers

1- Make text as readable as possible

  • Don’t overuse caps. Full-caps can be difficult to read and misinterpreted by screen readers.
  • Avoid saying “click here.” Use descriptive call-to-actions like: Sign up, Try it for free, or subscribe.
  • Put hashtags and mentions at the end. Punctuation marks are read aloud by screen readers, so hashtags or @ mentions can disrupt copy.
  • Limit emoji use. Emoji also get read aloud by assistive tech. That means people will hear things like “loudly crying face” or “face with closed eyes and stuck out tongue.”

2- Provide descriptive captions for images

3- Include captions in videos

4- Add a descriptive transcript for video

5- Learn about the accessibility features of social media sites

Twitter Accessibility Tips:

  • Enable image descriptions. Follow these steps to add the ability to describe images for the visually impaired. Now you’re all set to add descriptions to your photos. Descriptions can be 420 characters long. They are also available in TweetDeck.
  • Image descriptions can also be composed using VoiceOver.
  • Provide summaries of Twitter Chats. If you’re hosting an Ask Me Anything or have a long thread on an important topic, consider providing a detailed recap by email or on your blog.
  • Follow @TwitterA11y for updates and queries. Submit a Ticket if you think something can be improved.

LinkedIn Accessibility Tips

  • Use descriptive captions to describe what you are sharing. If it links to media, consider adding [PIC], [VIDEO], [AUDIO], [GIF].
  • Make sure captions are burned into LinkedIn native video. Otherwise, link to YouTube video with captions and/or a descriptive transcript.

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