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ADHD and web accessibility

Written by Sophie Ragas on 3 March 2023 (Average reading time: 2 minutes)

ADHD is diagnosed in both children and adults. What are the challenges people with ADHD face digitally and what can you do to accommodate them?

ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) is a disability that includes a group of certain symptoms:

  • Problems with attention and concentration
  • Hyperactivity (physical) or inner turmoil
  • Impulsivity
  • Controlling emotions and sensitivity

Challenges on the web and in apps

People with ADHD experience the following challenges:

  • "busy" UX, making getting an overview difficult
  • distractions by:
    • notifications
    • advertisements
    • autoplaying media
    • animations
  • sessions that expire, making it necessary to restart an action
  • long texts, making them lose attention or missing the point that is being made

What you can do

While there are challenges for users, as a developer, designer or content writer, for example, you can support them.. By keeping your website or app as simple as possible, you increase the chances of users being able to find what they are looking for. In addition, if you give users control over whether they want to receive notifications, for example, you reduce the chances of them getting distracted because they can make an active choice about when they want notifications or not. Also give a choice of the type of notification. Do they want a push notification? Or one by e-mail? Without or with sound?

It's also good to think about the processes on your website or in your app. Can you prevent data loss by offering the option to extend a session or have information stored temporarily?

What you will find is that these interventions not only make it more accessible for people with ADHD. Shorter texts in simple and understandable language is also very nice for people with dyslexia, for instance. And a website without too many ads or notifications will be perceived as less irritating by a large proportion of visitors. Furthermore, every user will appreciate having control over their experience through all kinds of settings and options that can be used. Consider, for instance, the many fans of dark mode options.

It becomes more inclusive and accessible to a large group of people, which makes investing in accessibility only more interesting. At Eleven Ways, we are happy to help your organization get started! We can do that through an audit or trainings and workshops. Contact us with no obligation to discuss how we can help.

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