Briefing

Category

UX

Date posted

02 Aug 2022

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Does your website support neurodiversity?

What is neurodiversity?

Neurodiversity describes the variations in the way the human brain thinks, behaves and interacts with the world.

Amongst others, these variations can include:

  • Autistic Spectrum
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
  • Dyspraxia
  • Dyslexia

It is easy to assume that everybody has the same experience when using your website. However, overlooking variations in neurodiversity creates an empathy gap that can lead to dangerous assumptions.

Understanding the subtle differences people have in perceiving your website can help to ensure it’s built with everyone in mind.

Why is it important that your website supports neurodiversity?

It is estimated 15-20% of the population is neurodiverse, making it far from an ‘edge case’ scenario. 

Designing your website to be cognitively accessible makes it easier to use for everyone, regardless of their cognitive state or medical condition.

It is often the details that some consider small and insignificant that can become barriers for those with neurodiverse traits.

As these frictions build up, they can cause confusion, anxiety and cognitive overload. 

In the worst case scenario this makes your website unusable for neurodiverse people, or it can simply be frustrating enough to make them exit your website and find another that is cognitively accessible.

What are the steps to ensuring your website supports neurodiversity?

To ensure your website supports neurodiversity, research and understand the different types of it and how the behaviour traits can affect digital experiences. 

Try testing your website with real people and audit it to see if it falls foul of common frictions, these can include:

  • Not using consistent design patterns
  • Not being literal or descriptive enough
  • Using unnecessary animations/transitions
  • Using too many bright or saturated colours
  • Displaying too much unstructured or complex information in one area
  • Disrupting the journey with unpredictable pop ups, sounds and video

If you need support in making your website more cognitively accessible, get in touch with our team today to arrange an audit.