Perks of Improving Your Digital Product’s Accessibility

Olivia Xu
UX Designer
Read Time
4 min read
Published On
April 11, 2024

Most UX designers are no strangers to accessibility and its importance in creating a successful and thoughtful digital experience. However, getting stakeholders to buy into prioritizing accessibility can be an uphill battle. Sometimes accessibility is viewed as a barrier standing in the way of quick and efficient product cycles, but it should be viewed as a natural part of the design process that often results in benefits that might not be immediately evident from the outset. Let's dive into the hidden perks of accessible design, along with some specific examples!

Benefiting Users Across the Spectrum of Impairments

While designing for users of all abilities should be the default approach, regardless of their audience share, features that benefit permanently impaired users can also benefit those with temporary or situational impairments.

For example, have you ever watched TV at a crowded sports bar? It might have been difficult to catch the sound or the voices of the announcers. In this case, your hearing was situationally impaired. Features that benefit fully d/Deaf users can also benefit those with temporary hearing loss from a burst eardrum or ear infection, people in a loud environment, or even someone wearing earplugs.

Alt-text: Three ear icons; one labeled “permanent” with an X next to it, one labeled “temporary” with a bandage over it, and one labeled “situational” with an earplug in it.
Impairments don’t always mean permanent impairments; people can experience temporary hearing loss due to an injury or illness, or situational hearing loss when wearing earplugs.

Or, have you ever tried to use a device while one of your arms was in a sling, or while you were driving or holding a drink? In these cases, you might have benefited from accessibility features, such as voice controls or sticky keys, that people who have lost use of their upper extremities often use.

Enabling User Preference

Accessibility features additionally enable all users of all abilities to use your product or website in their preferred manner, enhancing the user experience overall. Let’s go through a couple of examples!

Video Captions

Video captions are an important tool for users who are d/Deaf or hard of hearing, or those with cognitive impairments that make it difficult to parse audio. Some users simply prefer having captions on; I know I turn on captions for every video, no matter how crisp the audio is—it just helps me understand things better. Captions are especially helpful in the case of learning new languages; having captions synced up with examples of spoken words is proven to aid retention and comprehension.

A less academic benefit of video captions is enabling a user to watch and understand a video in an environment where they might not want to play audio out loud, like a lecture hall or a library.

A person watching a video in a foreign language with subtitles on, with a checkmark next to the screen.
Captions serve as an important aid in increasing comprehension of video content, and can help users learn new languages.

Keyboard Navigation

Making sure your website or product has a logical focus order (the order in which interactive elements on a webpage receive focus when using a keyboard to navigate the page) is an important part of making your site navigable via keyboard shortcuts, which is a useful usability feature for blind or low-vision users using screen readers, users with mobility impairments, or users with cognitive impairments.

Most web users today have relied on focus order without even knowing it: if you have ever pressed the “tab” key to move between consecutive form fields, you have done it! Power users who navigate websites and applications via keyboard commands can significantly enhance their efficiency and productivity.

Additionally, keyboard navigation promotes ergonomic practices by reducing repetitive strain injuries associated with prolonged mouse usage, making it a valuable feature for users across diverse skill levels and physical abilities.

A mockup of a website with interactable elements on the page labeled with numbers, indicating their focus order.
Focus order is an important part of making your website navigable via keyboard shortcuts, an accessibility best practice.

Improved SEO and Discoverability

Beyond improving the user experience, prioritizing accessibility may also have some unexpected business benefits. Screen reader optimization, aimed at making digital content accessible to visually impaired users, inadvertently benefits search engine optimization (SEO) efforts. By structuring content with semantic HTML elements and descriptive alt attributes for images, websites can rank higher in search engine results pages, making them more discoverable to all users.

Another example of the synergy between accessibility and SEO best practices is the inclusion of transcripts alongside video content, a practice recommended to meet Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) AAA guidelines that also improves SEO, as search engine crawlers can’t watch videos, but they can read transcripts.

An icon representing a search engine crawler. To the left of the search engine crawler, there is an icon representing a video with an X above it. To the right, there is an icon representing a transcript with a check above it.
Transcripts can improve your SEO since search engine crawlers can’t watch videos, but they can read transcripts.

Enhanced Adaptability and Resilience

WCAG 1.4.4 states that text should be able to be resized without assistive technology up to 200 percent without loss of content or functionality. Many users have settings that enlarge text size enabled on their devices, meaning a website will be rendered by default with larger text. Designing with this condition in mind means designing with the consideration that your product will be rendered differently across different browsers and platforms, which is just a good design practice. Some other possible modifications that would be good to keep in mind are high-contrast modes that help those with color blindness or extensions that replace fonts with other fonts more legible for dyslexic users.

Accessibility-focused design practices often prioritize compatibility with a wide range of devices, browsers, and assistive technologies. By adhering to web standards and leveraging responsive design principles, digital products become more adaptable and resilient across different platforms and environments.


In conclusion, accessibility isn't just a checkbox to mark—it's the cornerstone of a successful digital product strategy. At Perpetual, we understand the transformative power of inclusive design. By prioritizing accessibility, you don't just meet compliance standards; you create experiences that resonate deeply with your audience, driving engagement, loyalty, and brand advocacy. Our team of expert UX designers is committed to infusing accessibility into every stage of the design process, ensuring that your product not only meets the needs of all users but also unlocks untapped potential for growth and innovation.

Let's collaborate to craft digital experiences that leave a lasting impact—one that's inclusive, intuitive, and unforgettable.