Design Techniques for Cognitive Accessibility
Relationship to WCAG 2.0
How WCAG spec and supporting docs apply (or don't fully do so
yet) and how more of the techniques here may move over time into
success criteria in WCAG.
Relationship to Personalisation
How Personalisation relates - coming soon
Design Technique Themes
To help web content providers meet the needs of people with
cognitive and learning disabilities we have identified the
following themes, each with an example technique:
Note - this can become the interactive list of themes
- Ensure design is easy to understand and use:
Provided things that are clear and familiar to
the user so that they do not have to learn new
symbols, terms or design patterns. Reduce
clutter. Allow personalization.
- Help the user find what they need:
Ensure navigating the system is easy and consistent
with clear sign posting.
- Use clear and understandable content:
Provide easy reading text, clear images and
easy to understand video.
- Prevent mistakes and provide easy correction:
Provide help and care testing of form inputs.
When mistakes are made provide clear explanation of
how to fix them
Help the user focus and restore context if
attention is lost:
Reduce distractions like ads and animations.
Provide breadcrumbs to help the user restore the
- Avoid creating cognitive barriers:
Do not use complex security mechanisms such as
passwords and CAPTCHAs.
- Provide help and support:
Make it easy to contact a human. Provide
Graphics or summaries of long documents with icons
in headings and links.
- Provide feedback that is usable by everyone:
Enable everyone to signal the problem they are
Note: We introduce the concept of a
Method as a collection of techniques.
Only 1 Theme and 1 Method presented. Perhaps themes
should also be collapsible?
Theme: Provide help and support
Users with cognitive impairments may need different levels and
forms of help, depending on their circumstances.