Have you ever wondered what a winking emoji means or skimmed through a long paragraph trying to find what the point was?
If so, you’ve just experienced something neurodivergent people struggle with every day.
That’s because they don’t process information in the same way that most others do. They might be on the autism spectrum, in which case they tend not to understand the subtle social cues that people who are neurotypical take for granted. Or they might be diagnosed with ADHD(attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder), which renders their attention spans significantly shorter than other people’s. And these differences in information processing have major implications for you as a marketer.
How can you communicate effectively with people who are neurodivergent? Here are some tips:
Limit the size of your content. If you create a long article or blog post, include a brief TLDR paragraph or executive summary that presents the facts clearly and concisely. Readers with ADHD will appreciate the effort, as will anyone who consumes most of their content using a mobile phone.
Don’t restrict yourself to one format when you’re delivering a specific message. For example, developing an infographic to accompany a blog post or an article makes good business sense. Not only does it demonstrate your versatility in different kinds of content, but it also shows your willingness to interact with more than one type of customer. Similarly, if you’re producing audio or video content, always include transcripts so that users can process the information in the way they find most comfortable.
Avoid language that isn’t clear. Stay away from sarcasm, winking emojis, and other means of communication that are easy for prospective customers—especially neurodivergent ones—to misinterpret. Likewise, in a video or presentation, don’t rely on body language alone to get your point across; your neurodivergent customers are more likely to be irritated than impressed.
Make your website accessible. For example, use responsive design so that visitors can access your site easily from laptops, tablets, and mobile phones. Confirm that your website is compatible with screen readers and usable by visitors who cannot operate a mouse. Include captions, alt text, or other reader-friendly descriptors with graphical elements. And structure your content so that it’s easy to navigate and understand.(Learn more about website accessibility here.)
As the number of neurodivergent people grows, the more urgent it becomes that you communicate with them in an accessible way. The future of your business depends on it.
Atlanta-based graphic design agency Badie Designs LLC specializes in creating innovative marketing, UX/UI design, and branding solutions for a broad spectrum of organizations. Contact us today for a consultation.