Your Complete Guide to Web Accessibility in 2022
Different people have different abilities. Approximately one billion people experience some form of disability. That's 15% of the world's population! So, whether you're a Guelph-based retailer, a B2B company out of Mississauga, or any business looking to set course for success, it's crucial that you recognize the importance of web accessibility in business.
Web accessibility is the concept of ensuring that everybody who wishes to navigate the web can do so, regardless of their abilities. Accessibility in web design is the act of designing websites so that regardless of whether or not somebody experiences auditory problems, issues with neurological functioning, visual impairment, or any other sort of disability, they can still interact with the web without experiencing difficulty.
How Can I Make Sure My Website Is Accessible?
Accessibility in web design generally hinges upon a website complying with the four principles: perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust.
These principles are all-encompassing factors to consider when creating an accessible website for your business. Your site's information and UI components must be presented to your customers so that they can easily perceive them, and they should be able to navigate your site with ease. The information included in your website should be easily understandable by your consumers and web visitors. Finally, the content must be robust enough to be interpreted by a wide variety of technologies reliably.
Are you looking for help building an accessible website? We have web design experts for that. Reach out to our team today.
What Makes My Website Perceivable?
Your website and its content should be presented so that it makes it perceivable to a wide variety of users, encompassing each of their unique circumstances and including any devices or browsers they may be using.
Some tips to help make sure that your site is universally perceivable include:
- Add alternative descriptive text to all images.
- Including an option for users to resize the text without impacting the page layout.
- Displaying content visually in a way that is easy to follow and understand.
- Add captions and transcripts to all audio or video content.
- Creating high contrast between text and background colours.
How Do I Ensure My Website Is Operable?
Users with all levels of differing abilities must navigate your user interface, and the content on your website, in a way that makes sense to them. Don't just consider the typical internet user – some will be unable to use a mouse, others will not have access to a touch screen, and so on. Designing your website so that it is easily operable for all potential clients is crucial to the success of your business, and you avoid setting unnecessary roadblocks for users interested in your products and services.
A website is operable when it:
- Can function efficiently with just a keyboard.
- Features an intentional content design that does not include known seizure triggers.
- Helps users to navigate, determine where they are, and find content. This can be achieved through understandable links, descriptive page titles, and logical page sequences.
- Allows users enough time to absorb content – avoid banners that move quickly and include an option for users to stop motion altogether.
Is My Website Universally Understandable?
You may think that your website checks this box already – but just because something is easily understandable to you doesn't mean that the same is true for every potential customer who peruses your site. Users of all abilities should easily comprehend your website's content and functionality so that you can pave the way for a satisfied customer and clear the path of any unnecessary bumps in the road! Keep in mind, you are the expert for your business, your customers are not the experts, but they are coming to you because you are! Don't write using industry jargon or show only images that you would understand. Write in such a way that your customers understand what you are talking about.
Embrace clarity and try to keep things concise. Some tips to make your website more understandable include:
- Creating pages that appear, and operate, in predictable ways. Navigation should be consistent across your site, and content should not change unless a user does something specific to arrive at an expected result.
- Consider the readability of your text-based content. Write your content so that anybody in high school or older could reasonably understand what you're trying to convey. Avoid using jargon and abbreviations when possible.
- Offering clear instructions to help users avoid mistakes and including straightforward suggestions for rectifying common errors.
- Including form validation so that users can easily understand what should be entered into which fields.
What Does It Mean to Make My Website Robust?
Having a robust website essentially means that your site is compatible with current user agents, future user agents, and assistive technologies. A strong site is intentionally designed to function and perform without a hitch, no matter what sort of technologies are being used by any particular visitor.
In making your website more robust, try to consider:
- Creating a road map of the visitor's journey. This will help you account for any previous oversights and anticipate the user's mindset as they navigate your site in their journey to becoming one of your new customers.
- The experience of mobile users. A significant number of internet users now primarily use their mobile devices to browse, so considering a mobile user's experience on your website is crucial to driving your site toward success.
- Cleaning up any duplicate elements or incomplete tags. Simplifying and optimizing the elements on your website only makes navigation that much easier, regardless of the user agent or assistive technology being used.
- Eliminating dead links. Dead links only confuse technologies and users alike, not to mention how frustrating they can be when stumbled upon by a visitor seeking information.
Achieving web accessibility is a complex task and encompasses many aspects of web design that are often overlooked by those who are not professional web designers. This guide is a fantastic starting point for getting your business on the right track, but to be truly confident that your website is accessible to all users, you may want to consider utilizing an experienced professional.
The team at WEB ROI are well-versed in the concepts of web accessibility, with an abundance of experience across various industries. Contact WEB ROI today for help navigating the world of web accessibility and drive your business forward on the path to success!
And while you're at it, check out our Ebook with tips to drive more qualified leads on your website.