Skip to main content


Tolerance for Error: Safe Solutions – Universal Design Principle Series – 5

Discussing latest update in React JS 18

Welcome back to our Universal Design Principle Series! In this edition, we explore the principle of “Tolerance for Error,” a critical element in creating designs that minimize hazards and adverse consequences of accidental or unintended actions. Join us as we uncover the significance of building fail-safe solutions that accommodate users and enhance overall accessibility.

Understanding Tolerance for Error

What is the Tolerance for Error in Universal Design?

Tolerance for Error is a principle that acknowledges the inevitability of human error and aims to design products and environments with features that mitigate potential negative outcomes. By minimizing the impact of mistakes, designers create a safer and more forgiving user experience.

Key Considerations

Preventing Critical Errors

Design should anticipate common errors and incorporate features to prevent critical consequences. This is especially crucial in environments where safety is paramount.

Providing Clear Feedback

Users should receive clear and immediate feedback regarding the success or failure of their actions. This helps them understand the system’s response and make corrections if needed.

Real-World Applications

Emergency Exit Designs:

  • Tolerance for Error is evident in emergency exit designs. Clear signage, well-lit pathways, and easily operable exit doors minimize the risk of errors during evacuation, ensuring a safer environment.

 Software Undo Function:

  • Many software applications incorporate an “undo” function, allowing users to reverse unintended actions. This feature provides a safety net, reducing the impact of errors in digital interactions.

Childproofing Features:

  • Childproofing features on household items, such as safety latches on cabinets, exemplify Tolerance for Error. These features prevent unintended access by children, mitigating potential hazards.

Designing for Tolerance for Error

 Error-Resistant Interfaces:

  • Create interfaces that resist common errors. This can involve placing critical buttons away from non-critical ones, using distinctive colors for important elements, or employing clear and concise instructions.

 Robust Physical Design:

  • In physical products, design robust features that can withstand unintended forces or stress. Reinforcing vulnerable components can prevent failures and enhance user safety.

 Progressive Disclosure:

  • Employ progressive disclosure, revealing information gradually, to prevent users from being overwhelmed with choices or information. This approach minimizes the likelihood of errors resulting from information overload.

Tolerance for Error is about creating a safety net within designs, recognizing that users may make mistakes. By incorporating fail-safe features and clear feedback mechanisms, designers contribute to a more forgiving and accessible user experience. Join us in the next installment as we continue our exploration of Universal Design principles, focusing on designing for efficient and comfortable use.



In our next installment, we will delve into the Low Physical Effort of the Universal design principle.

For more information on why accessibility is important general, you can check out my previous blog post here.

For further information on how In our next installment, we’ll explore the importance of captions for individuals with hearing disabilities and delve into how we can promote digital products using captions with semantic markup to enhance accessibility for those with hearing make your product accessible to your audience, contact our experienced design experts, check out our Accessibility IQ for your website, download our guide Digitally Accessible Experiences: Why It Matters and How to Create Them, and read more from our UX for Accessible Design series.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Gulen Yilmaz

Highly dedicated Web Accessibility Consultant who is driven by a passion for contributing to team success. With a strong work ethic, meticulous attention to detail, excellent communication skills, and outstanding collaborative abilities, she consistently goes above and beyond to ensure project success. Her cross-functional capabilities enable her to effectively work across various roles and departments. Additionally, she holds a CPACC certification in the field of accessibility, further validating her expertise. With over 3 years of experience working on accessibility teams, she has honed her skills in different types of testing and has gained proficiency in analysis, design, development, implementation, enhancement, and accessibility testing of applications within the IT industry. Her unwavering commitment to accessibility and her extensive experience make her an invaluable asset to any team.

More from this Author

Follow Us