Making PlayFitt an Accessible Fitness App
Learn how PlayFitt is becoming an accessible fitness app with a completely new design. See why color, font and layout choices matter.
May 21, 2021
2 MIN

Let’s face it. The traditional fitness industry has created unrealistic standards and expectations. Mainstream fitness culture tells us that if we want to feel good we have to look and act a certain way. This way of thinking is not only toxic but ignores the basic fact that people are different.

PlayFitt is changing the way we look at fitness and how we use fitness apps.

This is why we’ve made the conscious decision to create a movement app for everybody and every body. Our mission is to build an inclusive and accessible movement game that actually serves our diverse community.

We want to be the change we wish to see in the fitness space and it’s time for us to put our money where our mouth is.

So… what does this mean? It means that we’re starting to take into consideration the needs and abilities of as many people as possible during our design process.

Making PlayFitt more accessible is just the beginning of our journey towards becoming an all inclusive fitness app.

There are a lot of important and thoughtful changes that we want you to know about! Like why choosing certain fonts, colours and layouts can make an impactful difference.

But first, it might be helpful to define what we mean by accessibility…

What is accessibility?

Accessibility refers to the way products and services are created so that everyone can use them, especially folks living with disabilities!

In fewer words, accessibility allows access to everyone.

According to the World Bank, 15% of the world’s population experiences some form of disability. That means around 1 billion people face adversity every single day!

This is exactly the key motivator behind PlayFitt’s latest update. Our team has done extensive research on accessible design. We want to learn how we can remove any obstacles that some of our players may face. Empowering our community to live actively means building an app that helps them do just that.

Here are a few of the recent changes we made that uphold our core value:


Readability

When doing research on accessible design, we discovered the importance of choosing the right typeface. Believe it or not, the font you see in an app can make all of the difference for many folks.

The Braille Institute created a custom typeface called ‘Atkinson Hyperlegible’ that helps with legibility and readability for visually impaired readers. The Atkinson Hyperlegible typeface makes written content easier to read for those who have low vision, or dyslexia.

Not only that, but it’s free to download. Talk about accessibility!

And yes, this is the typeface you now see in the app.


Colors

When it comes to designing an app, colors are important to tell a visual story and highlight important information. But it matters a lot more than you may think! Colors have quite an impact on accessibility.

Did you know there are approximately 300 million people with color blindness worldwide and 280 million people with visual impairments globally?

Even our co-founder and CFO John Morris is color blind!

PlayFitt’s redesign features high contrasting colors to make our content more noticeable for those with visual impairments like color blindness.

PlayFitt's New Accessible Colors


A color’s saturation can negatively impact one’s experience with a product. For instance, those on the autism spectrum perceive colors more intensely, which can lead to extremely stressful experiences. So with this redesign, we’ve undersaturated our main lime green color to make it less overwhelming for our players.

Assistive Technologies

There have been many innovations in the tech world designed to help people living with disabilities. One being screen readers, an assistive technology that translates text and images into speech or braille.

Screen readers prove to be useful for a plethora of disability types, such as vision impairments/blindness, hard-of-hearing/deafness, cognitive, motor, and more.

Assistive technologies - like screen readers - can only work if apps and websites support them. In our redesign, every detail is well thought out to accommodate these technologies.

The placement of images and text is very strategic. Focusing on simplicity and clarity allows for assistive technologies to be more effective. PlayFitt’s cleaner look is an added bonus of course!

New font and layout can be seen on the right screen

In Summary…

Being aware of the implications design can have on accessibility is only the first step to becoming the most inclusive app we can be. We’ve only just started down this path, so it’s safe to say we’re far from perfect.

PlayFitt’s amazing community is the reason why we’re working so hard to create an inclusive and accessible movement app. That’s why we’d love to hear from our players! If you use our app and have any suggestions on how we can improve, please feel free to reach out to us!

Having these important conversations on accessibility with our community is what ultimately led to this new era of PlayFitt.

There’s a lot more to come. Thank you for moving forward with us!

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