Physical and motor skill limitations

Assisting users

The user may have a congenital or later occurring permanent or temporary disability that limits their ability to use a computer. This limitation may be caused by an illness, an accident or old age, for example. Physical limitations make using a computer more difficult but do not prevent it completely. In the most serious cases, using a computer requires advanced technical aids. A physical limitation can significantly slow down the user’s actions, making difficult functions or seemingly unnecessary phases in searching for content particularly frustrating.

The range of physical and motor skill limitations is particularly wide. Examples of such limitations include shakes, involuntary movements, limited ranges of motion, an inability to carry out tasks that require precision, and missing limbs. Using the website with a pointer such as a mouse is often not possible, or the pointer is moved with a keyboard or another device. When the website can be used with a keyboard, as blind people do, it is also more accessible to people with motor skill impairments.

It must be ensured in the design process that the functions of the website do not require great precision. This means using sufficiently large and clear elements, having enough empty space to separate elements from one another and designing the order of the elements in an optimal manner.

Check at least the following:

– The elements that the user can select are clearly distinguished.
– The elements that the user can select are sufficiently large.
– Elements, links, navigation links or form elements are not placed too close to one another.
– The beginning of the main content of the page (heading and lead) is placed high enough so that it can be seen without scrolling the page.
– All of the functions of the page can be used with a keyboard and without a mouse.
– The use of a touchscreen is taken into consideration in the design, and the elements are large enough to be selected with a finger.
– The performance of functions is not limited with a time limit, or the time is sufficiently long.

Illustrative image, the texts shown in the image in Finnish only.