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Inclusive Design Processes And Developer Handoff

taught by: Sharyn Morrow

co-presented by: Christina Adams

Session Summary:

Encouraging teams to integrate accessibility into design—from project kickoff through to completion—with recommendations for tools that will help simplify this process.


Commonly used design tools, such as Figma, Sketch, AdobeXD, and Stark, along with in-browser tools, can provide valuable in-the-moment feedback informing the accessibility of a design. Many of these design tools enable the seamless export of a variety of file types, including code—like CSS—that can be handed off directly to developers. We will highlight the related WCAG accessibility success criterion to be incorporated throughout the various stages of a design project, by role, and review design and code examples. The goal is to enhance existing processes by utilizing design tools and concepts to ensure accessibility is a core consideration of design.

Accessibility reviews often take place after design deliverables are fully realized, without considering the full spectrum of users. Designing with inclusive principles from the outset can positively influence the experience for all users. These improvements can be simple, flexible enhancements to existing processes that incorporate accessibility tools and concepts. Such enhancements can result in streamlined communication of accessibility requirements between teams and more compliant design deliverables. This can be achieved without completely reworking a team’s methods or limiting the creativity of the designers.

Inclusive design processes seek to embed accessibility into the heart of a project’s life cycle.

This session will look at the design process from a high-level creative brief through the delivery of specifications for development teams. It will pinpoint areas that require additional consideration for accessibility. Careful consideration of basic design principles—like emphasis, proximity, balance, proportion, unity, color, and contrast—is necessary when designing an inclusive experience. Documenting and communicating decisions that surface throughout the design process is crucial to ensure the inclusivity and accessibility of the experience. Common design tools can assist the communication and retention of these decisions to foster a more robust, inclusive process for teams.

Practical Skills:

  • Designing for inclusion
  • Best practices
  • by role
  • In process design evaluation and review checkpoints


Basic understanding of accessibility issues and the web development life cycle