Episode 56

How to make your digital product more accessible

Accessibility is the quality of being able to be reached, entered, used, or understood by everyone, especially people with disabilities.

Accessibility is a way to reach more people and help more people understand the information you’re sharing with them. It’s good for everyone and really just good practice.

In this episode, we’ll talk about a few ways that you can make your digital product more accessible, without having to do a ton of extra work.

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[00:00:00] Rene: Hey everyone. Welcome to Your First Digital Product, a show that helps maxed out service providers create their first digital product so they can gain an additional income stream, grow their impact without increasing one on one work, and experience more time freedom. On the show, I talk to business owners who have launched digital products and dig deep into how you can create, launch, and market your first digital product. I’m your host Rene Morozowich. Let’s go!

[00:00:28] Hey everybody. Welcome to today’s episode. And today we are talking about how to make your digital product more accessible. So I’m really excited about this. I’m actually interviewing someone on Wednesday. That interview will probably not come out until later this summer.

[00:00:43] So I am excited to see kind of like what I think of as accessibility and I hope to learn more, even more to share with you about accessibility as well. So, accessibility really is. I kind of looked it up just to see, like, what is the definition of what are we even talking about? And it is the quality of being able to be reached, entered, used, or understood by everyone. Especially people with disabilities.

[00:01:09] So accessibility is good for everyone. And there are different types of accessibility and different types of accommodations that I think that you should consider when you’re creating your product. And we will dive into those today. So just a note, this is not just like more to do this. Isn’t just like, oh, and I also have to worry about accessibility.

[00:01:30] No, don’t think of it that way. Think of it as being able to reach more people, to help more people understand the information that you are sharing with them. And it’s really just good practice. There are also permanent versus temporary disabilities.

[00:01:46] So last year, if you recall, if you’ve been following along, I broke my ankle. And for a time, I was not able to walk. I started to work with a personal trainer and she was able to modify the exercise [00:02:00] routines that she was providing to help me be able to work through those better.

[00:02:05] So I think that keeping that in mind that your audience is varied and their circumstances and their experiences are varied. So being able to meet them where they are, we always talk about this meeting people where they are, being able to meet them where they are only makes the experience better.

[00:02:22] So now that I am able to do almost everything that I could do before and follow along with her regular workouts my experience is just that much better because she was able to help me through a time when I needed some accommodations. Also not everyone learns in the same way. Let’s say, for example, only providing video and people don’t really understand the best via video, it would be great to have an alternative.

[00:02:47] So just think about it that way, that meeting people where they are will be really great for you and your product. Also think about who your audience is. I was talking with someone and they mentioned that when they first started selling products their audience was older.

[00:03:07] So they really had to explain things in a different way. They couldn’t assume that their audience was younger and super, you know, technologically literate. So they really had to consider their audience. And we always want to consider our audience, because we always want to again, meet them where they are.

[00:03:24] So let’s talk about a couple of visual things that you can do in your product to make it better. And also consider that you might want to do the same in your marketing. So people can’t always see the product, right? People are not seeing the product unless you’re giving them a preview until they’ve purchased it.

[00:03:41] So consider the same things for your product as for the marketing that you do for your product. So visual, larger font sizes. I don’t know if you remember, like, I dunno, maybe like the early 2010s before responsive web design, um, everybody was really keen into like this really tiny, like 12 point font that is too [00:04:00] small.

[00:04:00] Just make it bigger, make it bigger for me. I don’t know if you notice here, if you’re watching the video, I did just get new glasses and these are progressives. I’m at the age where I can’t see very well close up, things that are close. I need a little bit more help. So larger font sizes. Um, Color contrast.

[00:04:18] There’s this thing out there right now. That’s kind of like this. Um, there’s beige. It’s and I love beige, but like beige on beige. I cannot see this, the color contrast between the foreground and the background is just not enough, please, please, please, please. Change that contrast so that your words are more legible.

[00:04:39] And again, along with those larger font sizes. You can also do things like line and paragraph spacing, making your sentences not just go on for all eternity. Cut those off after a certain number of characters. Um, also proper use of headings.

[00:04:54] So heading one, heading two, heading three, not only just for your website, but if you’re using Google docs or Microsoft Office or things like that, you can use headings in those documents to kind of help people understand your content, because really, like you took all the time to create that content.

[00:05:11] You want people to understand it. You want them to be able to solve an important problem and get a win and continue to follow you, continue to purchase from you, maybe work with you 1:1 later, all of the things that we always talk about on this show. So visual, larger font sizes, color contrast, your line and paragraph spacing and proper use of headings.

[00:05:32] So those are just a couple things that you can do, and that stuff is not hard. You can do that very quickly and it’ll still look good. You don’t have to make it look you know, like, uh, large print books, although I’m super into that now, um, you can still make it look good. It can still be designed nicely, but it is helpful for more people. All right.

[00:05:51] So let’s talk about content. So the actual content of what you are sharing, spelling out to people, here’s what we’re going to learn in [00:06:00] this module. Here’s what you’re going to be able to do at the end, repeating yourself. I know we don’t like to repeat ourselves because we’re like, oh, we already said it.

[00:06:09] They heard it. Not everybody hears it the first time. Okay, people need to hear things again and again and again. So repeating yourself throughout. Recapping at the end is a great strategy as well. And really just thinking about how can I be clear with the point that I’m trying to make? Watch your use of jargon.

[00:06:27] I’ve talked about jargon before. Um, I think I share this story where I, I was teaching a class and I went through, I don’t know, maybe 15 minutes talking about SEO. And then someone said what’s SEO? So really watching your use of jargon, make sure that people know if you’re using an acronym, what it means ahead of time.

[00:06:47] And don’t assume, you know, this goes back to not assuming that your audience knows any one specific thing and being very clear. So that is related to the content. Okay. Spelling out what people will learn, repeating yourself to make sure they’re getting it, recapping at the end. And really just trying to be as clear as possible throughout. Some people are also extra wordy. You know, pulling that stuff out, try to be as clear as possible. Now I mentioned, um, audio and video earlier.

[00:07:15] Now, if you have audio or video, also have transcripts. Okay. So that is good. Just good for everyone. And with a lot of current systems, it is easy to generate those transcripts. It’s not as labor intensive as it used to be. So for example, I use Descript to record the audio and the video of this podcast.

[00:07:35] They also have a feature that I can see the transcript and I can export the transcript. I upload that along with the YouTube video. When I create my short social posts, I can export the transcripts there. Um, it is not very difficult nowadays to be able to provide that to people. Also keeping the lengths to a minimum for attention spans. People don’t have the same attention span that they [00:08:00] used to.

[00:08:00] And you really want to again, get to the point. Be clear and not just go on and on and on. I know that personality is nice and that is one way that people can get to know you and like you and trust you is by, you know, infusing your personality in there. Uh, but really like going off onto long tangents, isn’t super helpful for the content that you’re trying to share.

[00:08:21] So keeping that length to a minimum, um, just to consider people’s attention spans. You don’t want to lose people, right? You want people to pay attention. If you have one thing, consider having another option, right? So if you have a written option, could you also have an audio option or if you have audio, you know, we just talked about having a transcript, having a written option as well. So, if it is only maybe writing, maybe also having a diagram or some sort of visual option. Now everyone is different.

[00:08:52] So recently we just hired someone new to watch my partner’s cats while we were away. He has six cats at this point. And, um, I did this lovely diagram. I mean, it was really lovely with like each of the pictures of the cats and their names. And what food they got and a medication. Some of them are on medication at this point. Um, for morning and night and we gave it to one of the potential cat sitters. And you could kind of tell that it didn’t kind of resonate like it did in my mind. In my mind, it really, I was like, okay, this is very clear to me.

[00:09:25] But with her, she kind of looked at it and then she wanted us to tell her. She needed verbal instructions and she made notes herself, but that seemed to be her preferred learning method. My son has a friend who is not good with verbal. He needs to have it written and only then can he really understand and follow those instructions.

[00:09:46] So you don’t know necessarily your audience. You don’t know how they learn best. So having more than one option, presenting that information in a slightly different way can be really helpful and go really far in helping [00:10:00] your customers absorb the information you’re sharing and be able to execute on that.

[00:10:04] Because again, really like that’s what we want. We don’t just want sales. We want people to actually buy and take action and solve their problems. That is the promise. You know, it’s not just like, oh, buy this, but buy this and get results. So think about having more than one option available.

[00:10:22] So the last thing I have is thinking about training and instructions. Make sure you’re really clear upfront. That people know how to use the thing that they bought, let them know what to expect. Is it only audio? Is it just video? How can they access it? Make sure they know where to get help if they have any issues.

[00:10:43] So being really clear right upfront, I think is super helpful for people. There are also ways to that you can determine like, did people actually open the thing? Uh when’s the last time they opened. So you could potentially, and again, you know, you don’t have to dive in too far, but follow up with people later, maybe automated, people that didn’t open or, you know, haven’t progressed to a certain point and say, Hey, do you need help?

[00:11:07] Here’s a refresher on how to access the thing that you bought, how to use it to the best of, you know, here’s, here’s my recommended way to use it. Uh, when I had my first mini course. I told people like here is how to use this. Set aside one hour to do this part, one hour to do this part and one hour to do this part.

[00:11:26] And really you should be good in a three hour span. So letting people know and being really clear on what to do will set them up for success using your product.

[00:11:37] So what do you think about these things? Hey, wait, maybe let me recap. So we talked about accessibility being the quality of being able to be reached, entered, used, or understood by everyone. Especially people with disabilities.

[00:11:50] Accessibility is good for everyone. It’s not just another thing that you need to do. You’ll be able to reach more people and not everyone learns in the same way. So [00:12:00] a couple of visual things that we talked about, larger font sizes, color contrast, line and paragraph spacing, proper use of headings. We’ve talked about content, including repeating yourself.

[00:12:10] Hey meta, this is what I’m doing. Um, recapping at the end, being really clear, avoiding jargon. Um, considering your technology, like your audio video, having transcripts, keeping length to a minimum. And maybe having more than one option. So if you have written maybe a diagram or, or audio video, kind of combining things if possible, and that’s not that much harder to do because you’ve already created the base content.

[00:12:34] You may just need to put it in a different format. And then think about training and extra instructions. Really let people know how to use the thing that they bought, let them know what to expect and where to get help if they have issues. So, what do you think? If you would like to take me up on my free 30 minute strategy calls, you can go to yfdp.show/strategy.

[00:12:56] And we can talk about whatever, if you’re stuck somewhere, if you want to get started. Um, if you want to run some ideas by me, really anything. Or if you have any feedback that you just want to send me, you can send me a voice message at yfdp.show/share. I’d love to hear from you. What do you think about accessibility? Have you ever used a product that really wasn’t accessible and, um, that wasn’t great for you.

[00:13:17] Did you get a refund? You know, really, I would love to hear anything from you. Um, this helps me create the best content that I can for you all about digital products. So I hope you have a great day and we’ll talk to you soon.

[00:13:28] Hey, thanks for listening. I’d love to continue the conversation in your inbox. Email SUBSCRIBE to hey at yfdp.show or sign up in the show notes to get bi monthly emails about how you can create, launch, and market your first digital product. Can’t wait to see you there.