Overcoming Accessibility Barriers with Design Pattern

The problem

When dealing with complex processes on mobile application, many times there is a big number of steps that the user must follow in order to complete a task or achieve a goal.

Although, it may seem more organized and appropriate to split actions in multiple steps on multiple screens, this segmentation of information requires the memorization of previous actions. The problem is that people with cognitive deficiences may struggle to remember previous actions or information! This problem affects the elderly people too.

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Even users that do not suffer from any disability may have some difficulty following actions that are split in multiple screens when using the mobile device on busy enviroments where the user must be aware of its sorroundings (in a bus, for example).

The recommendation

One simple but effective solution for improving the general navigation experience of users and provide accesible feedback to any user, is to use breadcrumbs or hints of some sort that inform the current location. Although, breadcrumbs are a common practice on web development, it’s rarely used on mobile.

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With the information of the current location, older users that often get lost on mobile applications and are insecure about how to undo some action, for example, will be able to understand better where they are. It’s important to find the appropriate place to display such information, as for example an action bar or a simple field above the page title.

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