Your cookies, your choice

We use cookies to enhance your browsing experience and analyze our traffic. By clicking "Accept All", you consent to our use of cookies. If you click "Only Necessary", we only save your preference not to be tracked.

Accept AllOnly Necessary
Picture of a man in black and whitecontrasting bright colours of blue, orange and pink


Our UX Designer Viktor reminds us of the importance of continuing to advocate for accessibility and sustainability in this reflection.

The Annevo Logo. An A with a dot to the right and a line underneath
June 10, 2024

About the author: Viktor Gattzén is a talented UX Designer within the Annevo community of creatives. These are his thoughts and reflections on contrasts and design that works for everyone:

The Saga Begins

I don't know when it happened, but apparently, we've already won one of our battles. But there are more to come.

For those wondering, the image is just a mock-up.

I went to lunch with a good friend who works at a labor union. His employer is giving the staff new work phones. These phones, like almost all work phones, will mostly be used for personal stuff. However, his employer has locked certain settings on the phones. One locked feature is the ability to change the background image, and another is the font color. The union's logo and text are in a dull beige, against a slightly darker dull beige.
Very modern.

Unlucky for the union, but amusing for us outsiders because now my friend is absolutely furious. I mean, really pissed off. Between bites, he was shaking his fist and listing his arguments:

  • The right to free time!
  • Personal privacy!
  • Contrast!...Excuse me, what? He pulled out his phone and showed me how it would look.“How am I supposed to see the time at night?”

Curious as I am, I double-checked the values.

The Ultimate Battle of Contrasts

In the middle of his rant about the right not to represent your company outside of work hours and having to stare your employer in the face every time you look at your screen (badly contrasted, no less), I realized that the battle for contrast has been won. Most of my clients know about WCAG, the accessibility guidelines, and are careful with their contrasts. And most importantly, we have a grassroots movement that understands and advocates for this too.

Jens Wedin, in his State of Design 2023 report, says that ethics, sustainability, and inclusion are still important issues. About 18% of respondents say these are the things they care about most right now. That might seem low or high, you decide. But I'm pretty sure the other 4/5 are also talking about contrast values and the importance of including more target groups.

The fact that we've managed to influence our surroundings to the point where non-designers are discussing contrast values highlights another important point. Designers have the power to shape what sustainability and inclusion mean. We've obviously lobbied hard enough for people with visual impairments. But, like a public service announcement, I feel I have to say this: there are other disabilities besides vision problems.

The Designers' Guide to the Galaxy

As designers, we hold the power to shape what our clients/employers believe inclusion and sustainability are. When we position ourselves as the voice for the users of the products or services we design, we need to acknowledge that we are the channel that highlights which groups should be included and the type of sustainability our world will talk about. The battle for contrast may be won, but there are more battles ahead. Accessibility is more than just meeting WCAG (web content accessibility guidelines) standards.

And when we point to one group to include, we have four other fingers that should be pointing as well. Overused phrase, but come on. Use your whole hand.

To be truly inclusive, we need to keep lobbying for other things now. We shouldn’t just be inclusive because of the legal requirements coming in 2025, which I assume you're all geared up for, right? We should be inclusive because it’s our responsibility when we have the power to influence. With great power comes great responsibility, or whatever Bamse said.

Life, the Universe, and Inclusive Design

We clearly need to keep pushing for contrast, otherwise my friend's screen wouldn't be so poorly contrasted. But we need to remind ourselves that inclusive design is more than just tweaking contrasts. We need to leverage the grassroots movement we've built to also think about other types of inclusion, like other physical and cognitive disabilities. Some concrete steps you can take are, for example, testing your stuff on groups other than your primary target audience. You can research people who have a really hard time focusing, for example. And how does your navigation actually work with screen readers?

Winning the battle for contrast shows that designers have the power to shape the future norms of sustainability and inclusion. Let’s use our position to create a more inclusive world, one design at a time, highlighting the importance of these concepts in contemporary society.

UX Designer

can't get enough?

hey! ask


Anything about

UX Design

Thank you! We'll reach out to you shortly!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Read up on

in the Startup Studio

Read up on

in the Case

Customer logo



mentioned in the article

related News

Next up
from Annevo
Press release