Throughout the inception of a new website, a brand will consider various elements such as its design, content, and structure. While each of these features are fundamental to the success of the website, it is equally important to ensure that the final product will be accessible to as many users as possible.
User accessibility refers to an interface’s ability to accommodate all people, regardless of their hardware, software, language, location, or capabilities. In this way, a website can be made accessible to people with disabilities or who are limited by the technology they have available to them.
Without accessibility standards, certain users may encounter obstacles when navigating a website. This can then create a barrier between potential customers and the brand itself. With this in mind, it is therefore crucial to factor in web accessibility throughout the development process. Fortunately, there are several, simple best practices a brand can implement in order to make their site more accessible.
Organized and Distinguishable Content
Once the architecture of the site has been crafted, it’s important that it be organized coherently and legibly on the screen so that users can easily navigate through the site and be able to read all content present. This can include everything from headings, body text, labels, and media. The main elements to consider are text size, contrast, and color. Text should be large enough for users to read, and there must be sufficient contrast between the background and the text. If the background is very dark, then the text should be light, and vice versa. If there is an image in the background behind text, it must not distract from the content of the text.
Certain users may not have access to a mouse or trackpad. They may be physically limited in some way, or be limited by the hardware they have available. A website must therefore be designed so that it can be navigated by using keyboard only. Users should be able to use the arrows or shortcuts on their keyboard to move throughout the site. There should also be a visual focus on the website so that keyboard users are aware of where they are at on the site as they move through.
Some users may have difficulties distinguishing between various colors, so colors should therefore be chosen with care throughout the site. There are certain tools that can assist in testing colors, such as displaying a site’s colors in the same way that a user with color blindness would see them. It is also important that color is not the only indicator used throughout a website. An example would be errors in a contact form. A red outline may appear around an area that needs to be corrected, but there should be another form of visual indicator to make it clear to the user what needs to be corrected.
With images and videos, it is important to have an alternative text option. Images may not load properly, so having alternative text to replace the image would indicate to the user what should be shown there. Users who may be using a software that reads out the screen to them would also know what is shown on the page. For videos and audio, there should be an option for subtitles or transcripts so that users with audio impairments are able to comprehend the content.
Designing and developing interfaces that are full accessible is an area of web design and development that is rapidly improving due to awareness and technical advances. It is advised to consider best practices in accessibility for all newly developed sites, in addition to sites that require full accessibility. Implementing these features throughout a website will make it more accessible to a diverse set of users and equip a brand or business with necessary compliance within their industry.Read More...