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How to design and test products to meet accessibility standards

Whether it’s TVs or showers, we can check the accessibility and usability of your product and help you improve it. It’s important to test all products. Our consultants carry out product assessments against our internal inclusive product design guidelines. We can then follow this up with observed user testing with blind and partially sighted people.

We can help at all stages of a project including:

  • User research to help define priorities or user needs.
  • Product design workshops to help you understand the impact of sight loss and how it affects the use of your product.
  • Design review when you are still designing the product
  • Expert assessment at all stages of development to help identify barriers to use and solutions to resolve issues.
  • Observed user testing to observe how blind and partially sighted people will use your product and identify areas where usability can be improved.

Here are the essential components to accessible product design

Clear instructions

  • The user should be able to access the product easily so there needs to be clear instructions. Instructions should be clear and easy to understand by someone unfamiliar with the product or type of product. They should be written in clear sans serif fond and available in alternative formats including braille, audio and large print.


  • The user should be able to access the product easily and remove it from its packaging.


  • A product must be easy to orientate and use by a visually impaired, older person or someone with limited dexterity and strength.

Visual information

  • A person with some useful residual vision will use the visual cues on the product so there are several areas which need to be considered to make the visuals as good as possible for as many people as possible - such as ensuring good control contrast on controls, buttons and touch screens.

Tactile information

  • Users who do not have useful residual vision will need to be able to differentiate between the buttons on the product.

Auditory information

  • When a product is switched on there should be an immediate audio response to indicate it is receiving power.


  • The product should be easy to clean and maintain.

Physical dimensions and build

  • The weight and size of the product need to be suitable for the intended user group(s).
  • Consider that as people age, their manual dexterity and muscle strength decreases.
  • Consider if this is something that people need to carry for a long period or is it something that is generally based on a table.

The following guidelines are designed to provide a basic guide to assess products for an initial level of accessibility. It does not replace an expert assessment and user testing, but following these guidelines does ensure there is at least a minimum level of accessibility.

Access the full product design guide below.