Inclusive Design and Accessibility

It is important to understand the difference in the principles of accessibility and inclusive design. 

They are similar in concept but have different viewpoints.   


What is accessibility?

Accessibility ensures people can do what they need to, in a similar amount of time and effort as someone that does not have a 'barrier' stopping them.

Please remember that just because something works for one person, it doesn’t mean it will work perfectly for another person with the same difference or disability.

What is digital accessibility?

Digital accessibility is often based upon the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).


The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) were created by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) to ensure everyone has equal opportunity to access content on the web. 

To learn more visit the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines overview

What are the principles of digital accessibility?

icon of an eye half covered


People may use a variety of tools to access the information

icon of a keyboard


People must be able to process the supplied information.

icon of a head with coggs turning


Use clear, concise language and ensure the navigation is simple

icon of a laptop


People use a variety of tools and devices to access information.

So, what is inclusive design?

Inclusive design incorporates the principles of digital accessibility but has a different viewpoint.


It assumes that a person's interaction with a design can be accessed and utilised by many different people, regardless of their:

  • Age

  • Gender

  • Physical Ability (see, hear, say and touch)

  • Language Ability

  • Technical Literacy

Principles of Inclusive Design

If you design with inclusiveness and accessibility in mind, most people in society benefit.

People experience differences on a daily basis. Here are some scenarios:

Drak red icon of assistance dog


People who have a permamant disability. Such as loss of movement, sight, hearing or speech.

Drak red icon of an ear


When a person has short-term injury or context affects the way they interact for a short time.

Such as breaking your arm or having an ear infection.

Dark red icon of a Phone


When people move through different environments.

Such as if were  on call and surrounded by large group of people.

Why do we follow inclusive design principles?

We follow the inclusive design methodology, as it encourages you to design for everyone's differences.

Inclusive design is a shift in mindset from fixed to growth, as it enables you to consider people as whole beings and not just a list of characteristics.

We also find that due to the more approachable nature of the inclusive design methodology, it is easier to embed in organisations.

How can you incorporate inclusive design in your organisation?

Creative organisations and teams often already have the tools to create inclusive content that customers and employees can access and utilise.


It's about understanding how to incorporate inclusive design principles into your daily practices.

It is much easier to design and create your brand and branded content to be inclusive from the outset, rather than have to go back and retrofit, which can be time-consuming and costly.