- Approximately 1 in 4 adults in the U.S. has a disability.
- Over 54% of people with disabilities visit websites every day, according to the Pew Internet Project.
- It’s estimated that it takes only 0.05 seconds for people to make their own judgments about your website.
It’s never too late to make a great first impression with your website. But have you ever thought about making a universal website—meaning, enhancing capability for individuals with disabilities? According to Digital Resource, with effective web design, providing accessibility is essential for reaching the customers you want to convert. Make it a priority to create thoughtful design while keeping accessibility in mind.
What Is Website Accessibility?
Accessibility is the practice of making your website adaptable and simplified for users who may incur difficulties due to their disability. This includes optimizing the function of the design as well as making it easy for disabled individuals to use. With superior West Palm Beach web design, accessibility keeps everyone in the loop.
Why is Accessibility Beneficial for My Business?
Creating an accessible website opens up a larger pool of customers with or without a disability. Not only will you be targeting your intended audience, but you will also be converting quality customers who have spent ample time navigating your website. Here are just a few reasons why having an accessible design is beneficial to you:
Solidify brand reputation: Increasing website traffic and brand recognition that is accommodating to users with disabilities.
Increasing usability for everyone: Optimizing the overall function of your website that is adaptable yet practical.
Adhering to public sector guidelines: Establishing that your website is ADA compliant.
Updates You Should Be Making:
The first order of business is to consider a CMS (Content Management System) that supports website accessibility. There are many accessibility-compatible systems such as WordPress and Drupal that follows ADA guidelines when it comes to enabling the appropriate plugins or widgets.
Being able to navigate a website can prove difficult if someone is unable to move a mouse. Something to think about is how an individual with disabilities can navigate a website without using a mouse. Instead, we make it accessibility-friendly with just a few clicks on the keyboard. This way, the user will be able to use physical keys to maneuver up, down, and click on a button without having to touch the mouse. Remember, keyboards are king in nearly every accessibility design.
How pieces of a puzzle fit together makes the big picture easier to see. In other words, we optimize your layout by keeping it streamlined and simple. Pay attention to the placement of buttons, the overall size of any features and maintaining a responsive nature.
Something to keep in mind is how color affects people with color-blindness. Color should be attractive, but sometimes cannot be distinguished by individuals. Color does play a role in the hierarchy of importance. If someone is color-blind, there are light and dark-colored solutions for preset backgrounds and foreground text.
Another aspect we keep in mind is the overall design of audio and video elements. Special attention must be given to the applications needed to pause, stop and adjust the volume. Closed captioning is definitely a plus, especially for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing.
Alt-text, also known as alternative text, is a brief description embedded in the image for SEO purposes. The alt-text includes the keyword followed by the buzzword and separated by dashes. You might be thinking, how can the alt-text be made accessible for West Palm Beach web design? When a disabled user hovers over the image, a computer-enabled screen reader can recite the text aloud.
This helps individuals understand what the image is and comprehend its contents in relation to your website.
Especially if you are looking to increase conversions, form submissions are key. Accessibility forms slightly differs from typical versions you would generate for capability purposes.
For instance, create distinctly labeled fields where users can input their name and contact information. It’s important to note that the form fields should be easily separated from extra noise that can distract users on your website. The rule of thumb here is to make it clear-cut, straightforward, and easy to use.
8. Content Curation
Have you ever heard of in-page navigation? This feature makes all the difference for disabled users to listen to your content. Always include clear-cut headers throughout each page so the screen-reader can describe content section by section. These headers should be separated by H1, H2, H3 and so on.
Keep in mind to stay away from focusing on the appearance of accessibility headers. This is because it can affect the screen reader’s ability to read the content correctly.
9. Linking to the Point
Unlike the blue hyperlink that subliminally signals users to click on it—individuals with vision impairment cannot distinguish between the colors. With the aid of a screen reader, users will be able to navigate links with descriptive content leading to the link itself.
Although the user may not be able to click the link, they will be able to understand the location of the link with the help of written content. For instance, avoid “Learn more about our insurance policy by clicking here.” Instead, make it sound like this, “Learn more about our insurance policy by reading on our Financing page.” This way, they will be able to understand what the link is and how they can access it.
- It’s a requirement—not a choice.
Before making your site live, we recommend testing every element for accessibility. This is crucial because not only does this significantly affect usability, it shows that you care deeply about people accessing your website.
Below are just a few tips to test your website for accessibility:
- Enable High Contrast Mode
For individuals with vision impairment, high contrast mode eliminates colors. The background color stays dark or black, while any focus text changes to a lighter color.
- Switch Images Off
With the images off, you are testing the ability for disabled users to comprehend the page. Open the screen reader application and determine if all webpages can be easily read aloud without any speech errors.
- Field Labels
Accurately labeling forms and testing submissions so a disabled person would have no trouble managing.
- Caption Check
Pay attention to turn captions on or off during as audio and video plays.
- Deactivate CSS
Since you do need a CSS program to aid the accessibility aspect, turning it off proves its capability after-the-fact. Pay attention to how the on-page images and content interact with the overall controls to navigate the website. Content and controls should not be mutually exclusive; instead, controls need to function without the other in order to pass the accessibility test.