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Is Social Media Really Built for Everyone? – A Guide to Inclusive Design

Image by Rami-Al-Zayat on Unsplash.

Social media gives us the ability to easily connect to others across the globe… or does it? 

As social media becomes a platform for mainstream culture, you can find social media apps installed on almost every device. Online content has reached people in diverse communities and backgrounds. However, despite making up 15% of the world’s population, people with disabilities don’t have equal experiences or access to online content. Whether you are an up-and-coming influencer or a casual user, here are three ways you can help promote accessibility on social media through inclusive design.

Making Text Accessible

Clarity makes writing more understandable to everyone. For people that use screen reader functions or have learning disabilities, actions such as capitalizing the first letter of words in a hashtag or restricting the use of special fonts and characters can make their experience easier to navigate.

Image Descriptions

One of the most prominent issues with online accessibility is the lack of image descriptions. For people that have visual impairments, adding image descriptions, also labeled as alt text, to your posts allows disabled users to visualize what a photo looks like when using screen reader functions. You can describe your post in an “alt text” section or add a description in your post caption.

Video Captions

Similarly, video captions are helpful for those who have hearing impairments or for audiences that are watching content in their non-native language. By adding accurate video captions to your content, it can increase your watch time and promote others to also implement captions to their content. You can activate auto-generated captions or type your own!

When promoting inclusive design, we actually recognize the exclusion from content many people face. By understanding inclusive design, we can help everyone have an equal voice online. Nevertheless, we still have to answer the biggest question: Is social media built for everyone? Well, by using these tips, hopefully, you can begin to answer this question and contribute to creating a digital world built for everyone.

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