Website accessibility is getting more attention at the moment. Not only website designers and developers should look into it, but it’s now a must-known business-owner. In fact, if your site isn’t accessible to people of all abilities, you could be sued, and no one wants that. Accessibility is far more than just user experience; you can look at it like you want a physical store to be. You’d want it to welcome all customers possible, giving them a comforting, enjoyable experience without worrying about accessibility issues.
It’s the same as your website. Visitors can have some limitations and disabilities or have some difficulties in eyesight, hearing, or color. Therefore, when designing a website, accessibility is always on your mind. Give it a good priority, and constantly checking is a must. Now, let’s get ready for it.
Many users can use every website you build and put online. Among these, there will be individuals with the following:
So the must-do here with your website is to ensure everyone can understand, interact and navigate on it. Regardless of disabilities or not, people should be equally able to use your website comfortably without any worry in mind.
Thus, websites must be accessible throughout all devices, including laptops, desktops, tablets, and smartphones in all sizes. It’s great to make sure a site is compatible and easy to use for everyone. Whether it’s a person with big hands on a smartphone, an elderly with aging eyesight, or one that is slow, the situations are massive, and you, as designers, developers, and business owners, must be thoughtful enough to grant people a better chance to access information.
If this is of rising importance in website design, there must be someone in charge to control and enforce it across the internet. And those are WIP - Web Accessibility Initiative of the World Wide Web Consortium (known as W3C). Here you can access all guidelines, demos, and instructions, so knowing where to start is not much of a crazy task anymore.
To make your website accessible, you should comply with all the regulations and requirements from WCAG on every level. By supporting this, you and us together will help make the internet a better space for everyone.
We've made a complete guide to make it much easier for you. The rest to do is make sure you check all the boxes.
With or without the mouse, it’s still critical for your website to be used, navigated, and more. The most common way to navigate a site is with Tab, arrow keys, and Enter. So when developing, make sure users can jump on all important areas on a page and between pages by only using the keyboard.
Thus, you can test this pretty simply by ditching the mouse and trying to use the keyboard only. If any points are hard to use, pin them and fix them.
Visuals, especially images and videos, are among the largest barriers to people with limited visual access. Normally, these people will rely on Screen Readers of Braille display to read the text on the screen. But this software cannot read and describe images or text, including images. Add Alt Text (or alternate text) to describe your images to disable users clearly to resolve this problem.
Additionally, Alt Text will be very helpful if your site has a broken or mislinked visual. And when writing Alt Text, try to describe how I related to the content and what’s going on in the picture. Don’t just throw a bunch of random texts and call it a day.
To increase user experience for all users, especially those with low vision, create contrast. For example, with background colors, text, and buttons, keep double-checking to see if each detail (especially vital elements) pops out and is easy to see.
Sometimes we focus too much on aesthetics and forget that colors and text are not enough to express content. In addition, people who have visual impairments will find it hard to understand if there aren’t any cues. So if you want to show an error, don’t just give text and a red banner. Adding an icon or enlarged buttons will help much more.
Smartphones and desktop browsers have the ability to allow users to resize text (including enlarge or decrease). This is very helpful for all users, especially one with low vision. However, you must build your website to support this feature without breaking your design.
To achieve this, use relative sizes and allow text and visuals to scale depending on content.
Don’t just rely on the design. Your website content and structure should enable accessibility as well.
Generate easy-to-read content: If you provide services and products for mass consumption, consider writing simple content. To reach many users and make them understand as much as possible, write everything straight forward. Moreover, avoid highly technical terms or regional slang since users might be learning your language or people with reading difficulties.
Create logical structure: Before crafting your website structure, explore how websites must be built. This will give them a vision of how users would expect your website to be. After that, lay out your pages and navigation to structure them all.
Write helpful error messages: When encountering an error message, people will instantly feel uncomfortable and want to get rid of it. So to help them know what’s wrong, write an understandable and thoughtful instructions.
This journey is surely taking a lot of time, so here we have some tools to help you out.
This Funnelback-developed website takes all the WCAG standards and puts them into the review of your website. It focuses on all variations that impact accessibility and lets you know what to improve.
To check if your website colors are accessible and have enough contrast, A11Y Color Contrast Accessibility Validator by A11Y will be the perfect tool. First, it shows you all the color issues you need to fix and detect errors. Then, based on that, the site will give your recommendation on how to improve.
WebAIM offers many tools to help evaluate the general accessibility of your site. It will let you know all the areas that are not compliant with accessibility and highlight them all for you.