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Cognitive Accessibility Objective: Help Users Understand What Things are and How to Use Them


Users with cognitive and learning disabilities may have trouble with orientation and learning. This can mean people get disoriented in a site.

Learning new things and remembering new information is especially difficult for people with cognitive and learning disabilities. They can also struggle or be unable to learn new design patterns. Make controls, icons and elements simple and conventional to help.

Make it clear to users what things are and how to use them. This includes clearly indicating the purpose of:

Use headers, labels, and other signposts to help users know the purpose of the page, region, or control.

Help users understand how to use controls and elements on each page.

Use familiar design patterns, terms, and icons to help users who struggle to remember new designs. Ensure the look, location, and interaction of controls and other elements are familiar and consistent across the site.

Show a clear relationship between controls and the content they effect to help users understand the effect of possible actions and reduce potential confusion.

Design Patterns for this Objective

User Stories and Personas

User Stories


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