Designers May Have to Choose Between a Minority or Majority

Designers May Have to Choose Between a Minority or Majority

An article by the "Anthony," founder and administrator of, states that visual interfaces in any system have a majority audience and a minority audience, in terms of vision. He further posits that the majority of users have normal vision, while the minority of users have either an untreated - or untreatable - type of visual impairment.

This minority group of users usually have issues reading text when the color contrast between the text and the background behind it are too similar, or when the size of text is too small. To combat this issue, user experience/interface designers need to design with accessibility for this minority group of users in mind. In point of fact, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has set a series of accessibility guidelines to help aid best practices for the web, known as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). These guidelines are the bedrock for federal compliance laws regarding many websites (especially sites for entities that receive federal funding).

At times, there can be a clash between what is most accessible for this group of minority users and what is most pleasing to the eye for the group of majority users (depending on one's tastes). "Anthony" argues that this is an "Aesthetic-Accessibility Paradox," based on the idea that the more accessible a design is, the less aesthetically pleasing it gets (a sort of "Laffer Curve" for UI/UX design). His proposed solution is that the best way around this is to design for the "largest minority," or, in other words, adhere to both A-level and AA-level guidelines from WCAG only, in order to strike a balance between aesthetics and accessibility.

Many designers object to this notion, depending on their own experiences and philosophies. Many bristle at the notion of separating users into a majority/minority dichotomy, and tend to view accessibility design as a "given." Additionally, it should be noted that aesthetics are a qualitative and unmeasurable judgment; accessibility standards, on the other hand, are measurable. For more information click here

Web Design Minority Majority