Neurodiversity and the Digital Divide: how our neurological differences shape the way we experience the web

Because neurodiversity can cover such a wide range of individual differences, it’s not easy to specify what that translates to in terms of design standards, for example. If we got ten autistic people in a room and asked them about what makes for a good user experience, we’d probably get ten very different perspectives, just like you would if you asked ten non-autistic people.



But to provide an example: if you’re looking at an ecommerce site where the goal is to make a purchase, there is a lot of whizzbangery going on. There are various banners, links, and buttons moving around. We probably all get a bit irritated by it, but when someone with, say, some cognitive load issues is trying to navigate that experience they may get easily sidetracked. So if the point of a site is to encourage completing a transaction, there may be self-defeating aspects in the design, because the person ends up being too distracted to buy anything.

There is a lot of potential for essential services – such as banking or grocery shopping for example – to provide easier, more accessible and inclusive experiences online.Neurodiversity and the Digital Divide: how our neurological differences shape the way we experience the web

Newsletter

I write a newsletter every two-four weeks. I'll let you decide if it’s any good but people seem to stay on. In fact, thousands of smart people incl. designers from Amazon, IDEO, Figma and Shopify are subscribers.

Sign up on Substack