The future of design systems is accessible
Creating accessible products is more than just a box to check—it’s a chance to pave the way for growth, establish credibility, and build trust with consumers.
“Design systems are a perfect pair to accessibility,” says Anna Zaremba, Senior Design Lead at eBay. “Accessibility can be baked into every part of a design system, from carefully tested foreground and background colors to individual components.” By promoting consistency, thorough documentation, and ongoing feedback, design systems provide the perfect scaffolding for implementing accessibility best practices across an entire product ecosystem. They also make it easier to roll out changes at scale by propagating adjustments made at the system-level across all instances.
AI can be a useful tool for automating certain aspects, but as we’ve seen with other use cases, it often falls short when it comes to tasks requiring human understanding and judgment. Many “plug and play” accessibility widgets and overlays negatively impact accessibility, leading to lawsuits for more than 400 companies who used them. In many of these cases, simply implementing a clear navigation structure and semantic code would have created a more inclusive product than the havoc wrought by these solutions.