Camila Navarro

Cognitive

April 30, 2021,

Memory

Timed forms are definitely a bad idea but they are most commonly used for exams and banking, an elderly person with mild memory loss will need to check their aids in order to fill these forms, however, if the form is timed and expires they will have to begin the process again and again without making any real progress. Setting up the fields so they can remember the information previously filled can be helpful, setting up the timer for a longer time, adding an alarm, and an option to extend the time or even removing the timer itself can solve this issue.

Attention (ADD, ADHD)

Trying to focus on working or on some reading can be hard when all around the page animations are automatically triggered, anything animated can give your site the sense that it has life and is reactive to what the user does, like buttons becoming bigger when you hover over them or video playing automatically, in reality, this is a source of great distress for someone with executive dysfunction while their brain is telling them that they have to go on and read their body and their attention will be focused on the animation and the reactiveness of the site. A simple solution would be to make the site static again, but we can have animation on a smaller scale making the site elegant and still keeping the feeling of reactiveness.

Reading (dyslexia)

Decorative Lettering, especially with custom and ornate fonts, can be a beautiful addition and a way to show off your designing chops, they can also be completely illegible for someone with dyslexia, some dyslexic people find using a screen reader helpful as it helps them read along with the text they are on, but a simple way you can do something to make your site legible is to use simple fonts pay attention to the spacing between them and use the proper contrast.

Autism

The autism spectrum is incomprehensibly large, and depending on where you are on the spectrum it may be easier for you to follow along with instructions, unfortunately, the world does culturally rely on previous background information or social norms that an autistic person may not have picked up, most sites assume you know how to fill a form, what fields on the form are obligatory and what information they are requesting, this is not the case. Assumptions can dangerous especially in government-regulated forms, many autistic people have gotten into legal troubles for following a form to literally, and without the proper and clear instructions on how to fill the form you can get anxious and even have a meltdown. Simple instructions, direct and concise can save everyone a lot of trouble and even avoid issues for neurotypical users.

For more information please visit this article on the W3C site.