Consider Cognitive Needs

Article Contents

Cognitive considerations are particularly relevant to Web-based material. Most agree that the Web can present information in a way that overwhelms. Research and innovation in areas like visualization, text simplification, and generally interface design are squarely concerned with making Web content more approachable, readable, and digestible.

This is another area where accessibility and inclusivity should enter the conversation. Inclusively-designed Web content can address the needs of a large audience while also addressing the needs of those with particular needs in cognitive, language, and learning areas. And as we contend elsewhere, many of the techniques described are useful for making information clearer and more easily used for all audiences.

Starting points

Text and/or Content simplification

While there are many problems users may face, there are a few general design approaches that will help many users. Most of these approaches will make your content better for all users, and none of them will make your content worse.

A challenge for all users is finding the information they want on websites and web pages that contain lot of information that they don't want. A look at a newspaper shows the basic tools for helping with this:

User Interface simplification

Floe's User Interface Options makes it possible for users to change the size of fonts, and change the colors that are used so that text is easier to read for them. Here are some other ways users can control your presentation.

Floe has conducted some early design work showing UI simplification around content.

Issues and Controversies

There has been disagreement within the Web Accessibility community about how to address accessibility for people with cognitive, language, and learning disabilities.