Accessible website design ensures that all users, including those with disabilities and restricted internet access, can take advantage of your website’s services and share in equal information access. After all, it is essential for visitors to your website to be able to carry out actions that are in line with the objectives of your organization, such as enrolling in a class, making a purchase, or contributing financially. A set of internationally accepted guidelines known as the web content accessibility guideline (wcag) can assist you in ensuring that your website adheres to accessibility best practices.
Why Website Accessibility Should Be a Priority
The degree to which a website can be utilized by people with disabilities is referred to as its accessibility. This can include people who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind, or have low vision, as well as those who have mobility issues or cognitive disabilities.
As the owner of a website, it is essential to ensure that those who fall into this category are not left out. Actually, the Americans with disabilities act (ada) is a civil rights law that says that businesses and other organizations can’t treat people differently because of their disability. However, accessibility to a website is not the only reason it should be prioritized.
A good way to show your company’s inclusive values is to make your website design accessible to everyone. Additionally, creating a website that is easy to use can increase its overall success. It may even enhance the user experience for all visitors to your website.
There are many ways to make your website easier to use. Adding alt text to images, providing transcripts for audio or video content, and using language that is clear and concise are all examples of these.
The web content accessibility guidelines (wcag) were created by the World Wide Web consortium (w3c) to make web accessibility easier to achieve:
This includes a set of standards that can be used by website owners, developers, and web designers to make and update websites and online content.
It is not necessary to take a lot of time or effort to build a website that is accessible. You can significantly increase your website’s accessibility by following a few straightforward steps. You’ll be able to reach a wider audience and help improve online accessibility at the same time. You might try and motivate others to do likewise!
Focus on accessibility, every step of the way
To ensure that websites meet the needs of all users and are WCAG compliant, it’s important to prioritize accessible website design every step of the way—from user experience research to content entry. Here’s an overview of the type of accessibility work that happens throughout the web design and development process.
User experience research
User experience (UX) research is the study of end users and their requirements and wishes. While much user experience research is conducted before a project even begins, the UX project should be iterative — with a testing and feedback cycle that continues even after a website is launched. Accessibility should be taken into account from this early stage in identifying the needs of the users. This can be done by incorporating users with disabilities in the research, building accessibility considerations into personas and user stories, and testing prototypes at various stages using assistive technologies.
User experience design
The UX configuration process — to incorporate data engineering (association) and connection plan — can assist with taking off openness worries not too far off by guaranteeing that straightforwardness, consistency, and client needs are the foundation of a site. At this stage, openness can be worked in by laying out reliable route, metadata, and scientific classifications, anticipating predictable UI parts to be utilized across a site and deciding the various leveled and semantic construction of website page formats.
At this point, web designers also think about how to provide user input and information across multiple devices, come up with alternatives to motion for alerts and emphasis (which can harm people with certain conditions), and make sure a meaningful linking strategy is used to avoid using inaccessible “click here” links all over a website.
The perceivable principle takes center stage during the stage of visual design. Visual designers select typefaces and font sizes for various user interface elements, establish accessible color palettes, and ensure that element selection and alerts are communicated without relying solely on color.
By making certain that the consistent patterns incorporated into the information architecture are graphically conveyed, visual designers also play a role in consistency, which is an essential aspect of the understandable principle.
The majority of the implementation of accessibility takes place during the development phase. Markup elements are created and formatted in accordance with specifications at this point, giving those appropriate labels and names. Media queries, accessible styles, responsive web designs, and interactivity with scripting languages are all implemented using CSS. The inclusion of keyboard accessibility ensures that any interactivity or action that a user can perform with a mouse can also be carried out with a keyboard or device that accepts keyboard inputs.
Web Accessibility Initiative – Accessible Rich Internet Applications, more commonly referred to as WAI-ARIA or simply ARIA, can also be implemented by developers. By providing additional attributes, this framework aids assistive technologies in correctly interpreting interactive website components like sliders and accordions.
The final step is to enter accessible content into a Drupal-based content management system. This includes providing high-quality captions and/or transcripts for audio and video content, making sure that images and non-text images have helpful alternative text, using headings in the right order, and so on.