Neuroinclusive design for ADHDers

The project

ADHD (Attention-deficit/hyperactivity-disorder) is one of the most common neurodevelopment disorders. The symptoms include frequent daydreaming, taking unnecessary risks, having a hard time resisting temptation, forgetting things a lot... It can be diagnosed in childhood and often lasts into adulthood. We estimate that more than 366 millions of people worldwide have ADHD.

To improve their experience online, we must be ready to design interfaces with neurodiversity in mind. This is why I was happy to work with Inflow on their rebrand and to build their site.

Inflow's app helps people with ADHD understand how their brain works and it provides practical tips to overcome their challenges. It was created by a team of clinicians who specialise in ADHD and is based on scientific research.

Inflow asked me to redesign their visual identity to address the needs of their neurodivergent audience. Neurodiversity includes ADHD, but also cognitive disorders such as dyslexia, high intelligence or autism. Neuroinclusive design is made to improve their experience. Combining Inflow's expertise with my knowledge in digital accessibility, we built an inclusive site for ADHDers.

The strategy

A website that promotes an app usually tries for one thing: getting people to download it. But Inflow had a different idea. We wanted to prove users that Inflow really knew about their condition and challenges: handling sensory overload, avoiding procrastination, getting more done, etc. So we added a quiz on the homepage to address those needs.

The rest of the site's content is used to drive traffic through SEO and reinforce the brand's credibility. That's why I spent a lot of time on the blog's template so that it'd be easy to read. Although the site's not big, it effectively fulfils its objectives, by offering quality information about ADHD. Since access to health services in the US isn't as easy as it is in Europe, this was one of the top priorities for Inflow.

The design

When designing for a neurodivergent audience, it's important to find the right balance between text and images. A study conducted by the Association for Psychological Science found that this balance helps create a structure that neurodivergent people need to get their bearings. This applies to any type of audience, neurotypicals as well as neurodivergents. We sometimes forget that inclusive design benefits everyone, just like accessibility does. You can also use different icons in your lists, rather than bullet points. It helps neurodivergent people to distinguish lines.

Colours are crucial to process information. But it's even more important for neuroatypical (or neurodivergent) people. When choosing colours, neurodivergent individuals often prefer softer shades like pastels, greens, and blues. These shades have a calming effect that reduces sensory overload. For this researcher from the University of Central Lancashire, designers must create a calm environment to prevent overwhelming the reader.

Too many images can confuse readers with ADHD, who often struggle to focus their attention in one place. For the same reason, it's best to avoid placing text directly over an image. This also applies to scren reader users who can't see an image unless it's described in an alt text. So it's best to avoid overloading information on top of an image who could not be read by everyone.

Sebastian Isaac
Co-founder of Inflow
I had the pleasure of working with Tamara when she re-designed our website. She managed to create an awesome design in a really short space of time. Thank you.

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