Website Design And Development That Is Accessible
Do you know what web accessibility is and how to implement it into your website design and development? Click here to learn about this important standard.
Have you ever been to a website that’s hard to navigate?
Now, consider how much more difficult it would be for a disabled person to explore that same site.
Research shows that around 20-30% of all internet users have a disability.
Without taking accessibility measures in your website design and development, you could be alienating a quarter of your site’s visitors.
What Is It?
Accessibility on the web includes any and all tools or technologies that are designed to enhance the online experience of disabled users.
The term ‘accessibility’ is an umbrella for people’s perception, understanding, navigation, and interaction on the web. The general idea is to present content that can be understood through multiple sensory channels.
Greater accessibility can also improve your SEO and overall user experience.
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines
Due to the growing demand for more accessibility in content, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) were created.
It’s a vast document that covers the recommended guidelines compiled by accessibility professionals including the “POUR” system.
POUR stands for perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust. These are the four main categories that the document covers.
If you’re unsure that your website design and development follow these principles, there are tests online such as the SortSite Accessibility Checker.
All you have to do is type in your web address, hit ‘Test Site,’ and it will score your design based on the WCAG.
There are three conformance levels that your site will be judged by:
A – Minimal
AA – Mid-range (considered industry standard)
AAA – Maximum
Website Design and Development with Accessibility in Mind
When designing a highly accessible site for all audiences, the key is simplicity and consistency. A design that is simple and consistent in appearance creates a safer and easier space for visitors to locate information.
Main features, such as menus and logos, should be located in the same place on all pages. Your backgrounds should be simple and provide contrast. Font style and color must stand out and not blend with other designs. If there is any video or audio on your site, you will need captions and transcription available.
Not only does the lack of captions and transcriptions create a barrier for the hearing impaired, it can become a frustrating trap for those with older computer systems.
From a designer’s perspective, you’ll want to test your content before publishing.
For contrast ratio, there are tools such as Lea Verou’s Contrast Ratio Tool which is considered by most to be easy to use. For more advanced palettes, there’s the EightShapes Contrast Grid.
Take the Next Step
Are you ready to build an accessible website? Or do you just want to improve the one you already have? We’ve compiled a list 5 things you need to know before starting any web design project.
Creating accessible content may not be the easiest task. But we’re here to help! If you have any further questions, comments, or concerns, feel free to contact us.