Ben Tuckwell

Senior Interaction Designer

How to make your social media creative more accessible

3 mins read

Are you excluding parts of your audience with inaccessible social content?

According to current statistics, over 60% of the world's population uses social media. A significant proportion of those people will have impairments or disabilities which means they may struggle to engage with the content that organisations post if it’s not designed in an accessible way.

Here are a few suggestions on how to make your creative more accessible so you can reach a wider audience on social media.


An accessible approach to colour doesn’t mean your designs have to be boring.

  • Aim to use colour combinations with sufficient contrast levels as outlined in the World Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAC).
  • Try to go beyond just hitting the required contrast levels and see how you could adapt or extend your brand assets to provide more contrast.
  • Don’t use colour as the only way to convey meaning


Good typography is key to delivering your message quickly and without placing an extra burden on your audience.

  • Try to use larger text sizes and appropriate letter and line spacing so your content is as readable as possible
  • Avoid placing text over imagery and instead provide a consistent background to text. If you decide to place text over images, then try to pick an area of the image where it is less visually busy and that offers strong colour contrast. You can also try other methods of adding addition contrast between the text and background.
  • Use highly readable typefaces with easily recognisable characters
  • Avoid decorative typefaces as they may require more effort to read from the audience.
  • Ensure appropriate line widths. Having too few or too many words on each line of text can impair readability
  • Add an image alt text description to your posts
Left Ad: This panel has a vibrant pink background with a heart-shaped globe illustration in shades of blue and white at the top. Below the illustration, white text reads "Will you show all refugees they're not alone this Christmas?".  Middle Ad: This ad shows a photograph of an older woman sitting at a desk, intently looking at a laptop. The setting includes books and electronic equipment around her. Overlaid in bold yellow text, the message reads "The Internet is for everyone." A logo for the "Internet Society" is visible in the corner.  Right Ad: On a black background with a radial line pattern, there is white text stating "Over 3 million people have fled their homes to escape the conflict in Ukraine." The design includes a small DEC logo in the bottom left corner.

Three ad examples using typography for Refugee Council, Internet Society and the DEC


A chaotic layout will frustrate or confuse your audience so it needs to have structure and hierarchy.

  • Create clear focal points and an easy-to-follow layout so your creative is easier to scan.
  • Some users may be magnifying the screen so consider positioning content in a way that minimises the chance of important content being cropped out of view
  • having a minimalistic layout can be a refreshing break from the visual noise of social media.


If your audience can't easily understand what you’re offering then any chance of them engaging with your brand is lost.

  • use plain English and avoid complex terminology or acronyms
  • use short sentences
  • Use active voice
  • Create clear labels within button that make it obvious to the audience what will happen if they click them
  • Avoid stuffing your content with emojis. They can make text harder to read and have to be read aloud by screen readers.


Imagery can help bring a design to life and aid in quick visual storytelling, but some image use needs to be carefully considered.

  • Use imagery that aligns with the message of your creative
  • Use imagery with clear focal points.
  • Show a diverse range of people. The World Health Organisation estimates that 16% of the global population experience a significant disability today. Having an authentic approach to reflecting the world we live in could increase the chances of your creative resonating with a wider audience and help them feel connected to your brand.
Left Ad: Features a photograph of an adult holding the hand of a small child wearing a pink hat and an orange backpack, walking on a muddy path. Overlaid text states, "Over a million people have fled their homes to escape the conflict in Ukraine." The bottom of the ad includes a logo for the DEC.  Middle Ad: Displays a close-up of hands holding a bright pink pin shaped like a ribbon. The text on the pin says, "Sponsor a Breast Cancer Now Nurse" and the main text beneath it reads, "Sponsor a nurse and get your free pin!" This ad also features a logo for Breast Cancer Now. Right Ad: Shows a child from behind, walking along a brick path and holding a teddy bear. The text over the image states, "£60 could help provide therapy to help a refugee recover from trauma".

Three ad examples using imagery for the DEC, Breast Cancer Now and the Refugee Council

Motion and animation

Adding motion to your designs can help bring your message to life and enhance storytelling but it can come with some usability issues.

  • excessive animation or motion can distract from your message and even overwhelm some users.
  • Avoid flashing content as it could trigger seizures for people with photosensitive epilepsy

Test your ads

Showing your designs to people with disabilities or impairments can result in valuable feedback that you could apply to all of your future creatives. If you can't do that then there are still several other things to try.

  • Test the contrast levels between colours in your design with free online tools like this one
  • Assess the reading age of your content with a tool like the Hemmingway app
  • Preview your ads in context and on different devices to help you spot any design issues.
  • Make sure you creative is set up at the correct size for the chosen platform, so it displays as you intended.

If you'd like to understand how to make your assets or brand more accessible, let's chat

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