According to the World Health Organization, almost one in five people in the world has a disability. That’s more than 1 billion people, and their numbers are growing as the population ages. In addition, many people without disabilities also find websites difficult to use, which is why companies like accessible have sprung up. Inaccessible websites can mean a frustrating experience or even lost business for both groups. Here are ten design tips to ensure your website is accessible to everyone:
Make use of a CMS that is accessible.
Many Content Management Systems (CMS) are available, and some are more accessible than others. If you’re not sure which CMS to choose, consult an accessibility expert.
Make strong use of headers in your content.
Headers help people understand the hierarchy and organization of your content. Screen readers also use them to navigate websites.
Use descriptive link text.
Links should be descriptive enough that a person can understand where they’re going before they click. For example, “Click here for more information” is not as helpful as “Learn more about our services.”
Use alternative text for images.
Alternative text is essential for people who are blind or have low vision, and it can also be helpful for people with cognitive impairments. The alt text should describe the image, but it should be kept short (preferably less than 125 characters).
Use captions and transcripts for videos.
Captions are essential for people who are deaf or hard of hearing, and transcripts can be helpful for people with cognitive impairments.
Design forms that are easy to use.
Forms can be tricky for some people to use, so it’s important to design them carefully. Ensure the labels are easy to understand and that the form can be completed without errors.
Make link titles descriptive.
When you hover over a link, the title attribute should appear. This is an opportunity to provide more information about where the link goes. For example, “Click here for more information” is not as helpful as “Learn more about our services.”
Use color carefully.
Color can be used to convey information, but it should be used with caution. Make sure that the contrast is sufficient and that the colors are not used exclusively to convey information.
Use simple language.
The language on your website should be easy to understand. Avoid jargon and use common terms whenever possible. People with disabilities are more likely to have difficulty understanding complicated language.
Test your website regularly.
It’s important to test your website regularly to remain accessible. You can use automated tools, but testing manually is also important. Ask people with disabilities to try using your website and give you feedback.
FAQs about Web Accessibility
What is web accessibility?
Web accessibility means that people with disabilities can use the web. This includes people who are blind or have low vision, deaf or hard of hearing, and people with cognitive impairments.
What are the benefits of an accessible website?
An accessible website can increase business, create a larger potential customer base, and improve search engine optimization (SEO). It can also mean improved customer satisfaction and a more positive brand image.
What are the guidelines for accessible websites?
The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 are the international standards for accessible websites. They were developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).