The Importance of Software Accessibility, Usability, & Inclusivity

Illuminated accessibility sign with symbols for an elevator for disabled access and bicycle parking, featuring an upward arrow against a dark ceiling.

Created by Jordan Muller on 2023-08-01

My Journey to Understanding Accessibility & Inclusivity To Build Software for Everyone

As a recent Computer Science graduate deeply immersed in the world of machine learning and web development, I have come to understand the crucial role of accessibility, usability, and inclusion in creating web experiences. In this blog post, I aim to share insights into these integral aspects of web development, drawing from my academic background, professional role as an AI Data Annotator, and passion for technology.

Understanding the Trio: Accessibility, Usability, and Inclusion

The concepts of accessibility, usability, and inclusion, although distinct, are interconnected in the realm of web development. They collectively contribute to creating a web that is truly for everyone.


Accessibility is about ensuring that web content is equally perceivable, understandable, navigable, and interactive for people with disabilities. This encompasses more than just technical requirements; it is a core aspect of providing an equitable user experience. As web developers, our goal is to ensure that our sites and applications do not create barriers for people with various disabilities.


Usability, in contrast, focuses on making products effective, efficient, and satisfying for all users. This includes aspects of user experience design that impact everyone and should not disproportionately affect people with disabilities. It is about designing products that are not only functional but also intuitive and enjoyable to use.


Inclusion extends beyond the realms of accessibility and usability. It encompasses diversity and the involvement of everyone to the greatest extent possible, regardless of their disability, economic status, education, geographic location, culture, age, or language. Inclusive design is about creating experiences that are welcoming and usable for as wide an audience as possible.

The Synergy of Accessibility and Usability

There is a significant overlap between accessibility and usability, particularly in how certain features can benefit a wide range of users. For example, high contrast on websites aids not just those with visual impairments but also users trying to read content in either extremely bright or dark environments. Similarly, features like captions can aid users in noisy environments or those who prefer silent browsing.

In addition, designing with accessibility in mind can enhance usability for individuals with age-related limitations, who might not classify these as ‘disabilities’. This overlap demonstrates how features intended for accessibility can have broader benefits, enhancing the overall user experience.

Inclusive Design: A Wider Lens

Inclusive design addresses a broader spectrum of issues and benefits a wide range of users. This includes people with disabilities but also extends to those facing language barriers, low literacy, or technological constraints. However, it is important that the focus on accessibility remains centered on disabilities, ensuring that research and development cater to these specific needs. At the same time, inclusive design encourages us to consider the broader context of our user base.

Usable Accessibility: Bridging Standards and Real User Experience

Adhering to accessibility guidelines such as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) is crucial. However, it is equally important to consider the human interaction aspect of our designs. This is where ‘usable accessibility’ or accessible user experience (UX) comes into play.

Incorporating real people, especially those with disabilities, into the design process ensures that the web is functionally usable for everyone. This approach goes beyond checking off standards and focuses on creating experiences that are truly accessible in practice.

Integrating Usability in Accessible Design

Common UX processes can and should include considerations for people with disabilities. This integration ensures that our designs cater to a diverse range of users. While usability processes alone cannot address all accessibility issues, combining these with accessibility standards provides a comprehensive approach to web development.

Accessibility guidelines, standards, and techniques ensure that a wide range of issues are adequately covered. This approach ensures that the diversity of disabilities, adaptive strategies, and assistive technologies are all considered in the design process.

A Call for Unified Efforts

As tech professionals, it is important to merge accessibility, usability, and inclusion practices. This unified approach leads to a web environment that’s more accessible, usable, and inclusive for everyone. Increased communication and coordination between accessibility, usability, and inclusion practitioners can significantly enhance the overall web experience.


In my journey as a dedicated and aspiring tech professional, I recognize the importance of creating web platforms that are not just technically sound but also universally accessible, usable, and inclusive. Continually learning and applying these principles in my work contributes to a web environment that is welcoming and usable for everyone.

Let’s all strive to be part of this significant change, ensuring that the web remains a space where diversity is not just acknowledged but celebrated and catered to. As we navigate the dynamic landscape of the tech industry, it is crucial to focus on continual learning, growth, and impactful contribution in the field of accessible and inclusive web development.