All You Need to Know About Web Accessibility Standards
Updated on: 13-12-2021 by WEB-ROI
We know that creating an accessible website for your business benefits your ability to interact with a diverse client base while improving your website’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO) marketing efforts. But how exactly can you make sure that you’ve considered all factors of accessibility, eliminating unnecessary roadblocks so that you can cruise forward on the road to success?
This brief guide will tell you all you need to know about accessibility standards in web design within Canada and internationally. Buckle up, and together we’ll explore the W3C Accessibility Standards and basic web accessibility guidelines.
Perceivability and User Interface
For your website to be accessible, it must be perceivable. Use this list of considerations as your road map to perceivability:
- Non-text content should include text alternatives. This refers to images, icons, buttons, graphics, charts, diagrams, etc. Including alt text that describes the non-text content on your site ensures that the visually impaired can still access all of your content, usually through the help of screen readers.
- Multimedia content should include captions. Text transcripts and captions that describe audio content help users with auditory disabilities. Audio descriptions that narrate visual elements in videos are important for the visually impaired.
- Users should have the option to change the presentation of content. The information on your website should be sequenced independent of how they’re presented, and any headings, lists, tables, input fields, and content structures should be properly marked up. This helps users who need to alter the presentation of your content do so without impacting the information included.
- Content should be distinguished. For your content to be easy to see and hear, your foreground and background colours should have sufficient contrast, and the audio should be easy to start, stop, and adjust. Text and images should be easily resizable as well.
Operability in User Interface and Navigation
Operability is another key element to an accessible website. An operable website is one where users can successfully use controls, buttons, navigations, and all other necessary interactive elements. When building an accessible website, check to make sure that:
- It can function from a keyboard alone. Many users don’t use a mouse to navigate online, so your website must be functional with only a keyboard. Ensure that all functionality is available by keyboard for all user interface components and that no part of your content will trap keyboard focus.
- Users can use different input modalities. Not all visitors to your website will utilize a keyboard – some use touch activation, voice recognition, and gestures, all to varying degrees. Make sure that gestures are possible for people with low dexterity, accidental activation is reversible, and buttons are large enough to activate through touch. Accurately labelling your page content will also help those using voice activation.
- You provide enough time for a wide range of users to interact with your content. People require varying levels of time to read, understand, type, and operate controls. Create an accessible website by stopping or extending time limits, reducing scrolling content, and allowing re-authentication when a session expires without data loss.
- You minimize or eliminate flashing content. Content that flashes at certain rates or patterns can cause seizures and other photosensitive reactions among users. Animations and moving content can have a similar effect. Avoid flashing or movement, and when not possible, provide warnings.
- Content is predictable. Predictability avoids distracting or disorienting your website’s visitors. Ensure that navigation mechanisms and user interface components that are repeated on multiple pages appear in the same place and use the same labels each time to avoid confusion.
- User mistakes are avoided and corrected. Descriptive instructions and the opportunity to review submissions help your users avoid making errors. When mistakes inevitably do occur, error messages and corrections suggestions help get them back on the right track.
Are you looking to get more information about Web Accessibility Standards ? Contact our experts at WEB ROI today.
Reliability and Robust Content
A robust website is compatible with various user agents: browsers, assistive technologies, and other methods of accessing web content. Ensuring that your website has reliable interpretation includes these elements:
- Markup that can be reliably interpreted. Ensure that it is valid and functions with all user agents.
- Properly labelled user interface components. All user interface components, especially non-standard components, should be marked with a name, role, and value.
Creating an accessible website is no simple task, but it’s well worth doing. Prioritizing accessibility ensures that visitors can navigate your website easily and reliably get to where they’re going without encountering obstacles or unnecessary detours. For more information on an accessible website design or to discuss how to make your website more accessible according to the W3C Accessibility Standards, contact the experts at WEB ROI today.
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