Web accessibility aids people with disabilities in navigating a website and accessing its content by utilising tools such as a screen reader. Making your web design accessible will enable more users to interact with them in a good way, increasing traffic. Even though the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 15% of the global population has a handicap, 70% of the websites we assessed have a major accessibility problem.
This post will explain why web accessibility is crucial. In addition, we’ll demonstrate how to develop an accessible website in accordance with global standards.
Why should you be concerned with accessibility while designing websites?
According to estimates, one in seven people worldwide have a disability. This implies that many of your website’s users will reach it differently than you do. In order to ensure that everyone can use and enjoy your site, accessibility must be taken into account from the outset whether planning, developing, or optimising your website.
Why? Because everyone should have equal access to all information and resources ethically.
Additionally, accessible websites typically include better overall design. When you consider the requirements of those with disabilities, you produce a website that is simpler to use for everyone.
Designing for accessibility makes you consider the user experience more comprehensively, which improves the entire user experience for all users. Additionally, several nations and areas have laws requiring accessible websites. Making your website accessible shields you from potential legal action in addition to encouraging more people to use it.
How to design an accessible website
It’s all too easy to forget that there are a great number of people out there who have needs, priorities, and skill sets very different from our own.
By default, we should consider people who, for example:
- Have visual impairments – they may use screen reader software or even braille displays;
- Are deaf or hard of hearing – they will rely on captions or subtitles;
- Have motor or dexterity issues – they may use a handheld pointer device or even an eye tracker to navigate;
- Have cognitive impairments – they may have difficulty processing complex information or navigating websites; or – Might not be able to read the language used on a website.
Also keep in mind that some limitations, like a broken arm in a cast, may only be partial and temporary for users.
Additionally, they might not even recognise that they are disabled at all! However, their ability to use your products is temporarily hampered by their surroundings or physical conditions. For instance, they may have to hold a baby in one arm while working or hold on for dear life when standing on a crowded train to read your article.
How can a website be made accessible,?
To truly get it right for your users, there are numerous aspects to take into account, and it requires time, experience, and deep insights. But if you follow to a few very straightforward recommendations, you may begin to make sure that more individuals can see your information:
- Speak in plain, straightforward words. Everyone, not only people with cognitive problems, benefits from using clear language.
- Logical coding and content organisation. HTML accessibility greatly benefits from the use of semantic structure.
- Make sure your website is optimised for all types of devices, not just screen-based ones.
- When creating all of your content, consider “alternative content” strategies. An example of this is when alternate text (alt-text) is used for photos.
- Offer transcripts and captions for videos.
- Use colour carefully, paying special attention to contrast ratios between text and backdrop.
- Take into account how braille displays and screen readers interpret your webpages. Avoid utilising third-party pop-ups, for instance, whose code you cannot control.
- Make sure your site can be navigated using a keyboard.
Giving our users options is another aspect of accessibility; for instance, if we offer more than one method of information delivery, our users can select whether they prefer to access it via text or voice.
The time is now for you to take the essential actions to make your website more broadly accessible and comply with regional, national, and international standards. When making recommendations, a website development business with the necessary web accessibility knowledge and experience can aid by implementing the suggested accessibility features to your organization’s website on your behalf.