Turning on Some Apple Accessiblity Preferences

Because it makes for a better UI experience!

Assumed audience: Other macOS, iOS, and iPadOS users.

Pro tip for macOS, iOS, and iPadOS users: if you’d like your UI to be massively more usable, go to the following — 

  • macOS: System Preferences1 > Accessibility > Display
  • iOS: Settings > Accessibility > Display & Text

 — and then enable a few of the options. I did this across my devices and it has made the OSes dramatically nicer to my eyes.

On macOS, I have selected:

  • Reduce transparency
  • Differentiate without color
  • Show window title icons
  • Show toolbar button shapes

On iOS and iPadOS, I have selected:2

  • Button Shapes
  • Increase Contrast
  • Differentiate Without Color

It’s a substantial net win to me.

Mind: it isn’t perfect. Lots of things are clearly not designed with these tweaks in mind. (Hey developers… maybe see how your app looks with these settings on?) But even with quirks here and there, it’s nice to have these affordances!

All of which leads me to say: hey Apple, what if, maybe, just maybe… you should add some more visual affordances to your operating system?


  1. Until macOS 13 ships and then it will be Settings, and possibly Display with also become Display & Test as on iOS. Who can say? ↩︎

  2. It’s weird to me that iOS and iPadOS use a different casing for their settings titles than macOS does. And I much prefer the macOS sentence casing! ↩︎