Creating Accessible Design Systems

A presentation at Web Accessibility in Mind Conference by Karen Hawkins

As organizations mature, they tend to rely more heavily on systematized processes and standardized tools. Design systems facilitate that standardization, and they act as a single source of truth for many stakeholders. The benefits of having a design system are well known, and more and more design and development teams are moving towards this level of maturity. At the same time, organizations are similarly maturing in their application of accessibility into their processes. These teams are facing additional issues regarding who is responsible for which aspects of accessibility, and where and how to document accessibility considerations.

In this talk we will focus on how design teams can incorporate more accessibility considerations into the design and documentation of their design systems.

Attendee learning outcomes include:

  1. Demystifying who is responsible for which accessibility requirements in a design system.
  2. Learning the design system features where designers control the accessibility but maintain design freedom and flexibility.
  3. Through examples, learning some accessibility design and documentation responsibilities for designers and content creators.