The main success of a website is user experience. Among the seven-user experience (UX) pillars described by the UX honeycomb, website accessibility and use remain elusive for people with disabilities. Of the top one million websites, 97.4% had accessibility flops when measured against the WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) 2.0. For your market to increase, you need to increase website accessibility. It’s an essential consideration for your market, any brand, or website.
Who are the beneficiaries of web accessibility?
Website accessibility is ethically, legally, and morally the right thing to undertake. Target had to pay damages worth $6 million to pay the accessibility lawsuit with the blind federation. Another advantage of an accessible website is designing for color deficiency. It results in more organized websites. The website accessibility steps benefit the SEO and mobile experience.
What’s web accessibility
It’s creating a perceivable website that is operable by a wide range of users compatible with their broad range of technologies. The following are the three main areas that use website accessibility:
Web content: website information or multimedia.
Services and software that produce web content. For example, the CMS (content management system) or the HTML editor.
The applications give content like browsers, media players, readers, and extensions.
As a website owner, control how web content and authoring tools affect your website, the knowledge about the control types in user agents influences the UI design.
Website accessibility disability
Many factors make people have disabilities that are either temporary or lifelong. They can result from accidents, illness, injury, or age. The following are the disability categories:
Visual: low vision, blindness, sensitivity to movement or bright colors, or color blindness.
Auditory: moderate to mild hearing loss or deafness
Physical: muscle and joint disorders, limb differences, and paralysis.
Cognitive and neurological: learning, cognitive and neurological disabilities. They affect hearing, vision, movement, speaking, understanding, and focus.
Speech: inability to provide a recognized speech.
The principals of the website accessibly
The WCAG 2.0 gives four main design principles for web accessibility called “POUR.” It’s an acronym for persuasive, understandable, operable, and robust.
Perceive: The UI (user interface) and information should have a good presentation to users. It does this via hearing, touch, or sight.
Operable: navigation or UI Interface should get used by all people.
Understandable: UI and information should be understandable.
Robust: content gets interpreted using diverse devices, browsers, and supportive technologies.
How to make a website accessible
Small modifications can create a big impact on reaching a wide audience. They improve the experience for all web visitors.
Select accessible authoring tools
The CMS, conversion tools, HTML, multimedia or image editors, and the prebuild themes can hinder or boost accessibility efforts. While sourcing for new authoring tools, go for tools that have built-in features. These features are for information accessibility management and automatic accessibility repairs. They should be able to get support from accessibility plugins. In addition, you need to get software vendors who abide by the W3C’s ATAG (authority tool accessibility guidelines).
Optimize content structure and semantics
Accessible websites should use good semantic and layout formatting. It allows easy reading using the screen readers. Using semantic elements like article and header helps to pass the meaning. The sequential headings communicate the content order of importance. Don’t use table layouts as they distract from content in the screen reader formats.
The screen readers aren’t for visually impaired visitors only. Other visitors can use them. 7% of non-impaired visitors use screen readers, especially on mobile devices.
Offer many ways to users to navigate the content. It applies to the standard navigation like search, menu, internal links, site maps, and accessible navigation. It includes navigating using only a voice command, keyboard, or on a mobile device. The navigation order should be sequential to keep the meaning. The above choices streamline navigation to increase the website readability for all users. It limits confusion.
Optimize typeface or fonts
To optimize the user experience and website accessibility, select an accessible font. For example, fonts like Tahoma, times new roman, Arial, or Cabri. They are easy to read and have good spaces both horizontally and vertically.
Ensure the color contrast between the surrounding backgrounds, images, and font is good. Show the links by colors or underline. Permit font enlargement without page breaking or pixelation.
It’s important to use contrast and color in the design. It helps people with vision challenges. It also helps people having environmental impairments or those viewing the content using a dark mode on mobile gadgets. The website shouldn’t stop the efforts of users to change the contrast. Don’t use the elements that can trigger photosensitive people.
Optimize the images with Alt text descriptions
All images, links, and media should have alt links or descriptive texts. The screen readers and real people should understand them. The exception here is decorative images. Adding alt texts will distract from the page content.
Be keen that any embedded text in image design gets produced in the alt text or description.
Optimize video or audio content with captions and controls
The following are the three main concerns in video and audio content:
- Ensure the audio and video content is accessible. Approach accessibility from the start of the project. You will ensure that captions or descriptions get integrated into the video production process. Provide descriptions for graphs, charts, names, and other visual data. It’s possible to caption the audio or video after getting supplied on the page with transcript, sign language, or descriptions.
- Ensure the audio and video tools are accessible. Audio and video accessibility goes beyond content. The media player should support volume controls, accessibility, color, or text controls.
The tools enable developers to choose a media player.
- The audio or video shouldn’t interfere with screen readers. Autoplay audio and videos interfere with the screen readers. It becomes hard to stop the content from playing.
Twitter adds video captions
On the above point, video captions are widely used on videos. It’s because they can be expensive and complex to implement. In recent times, Twitter started the auto-captions for the video content. It’s a great step in growing accessibility. Despite this, the current rollout gets criticized for its inability to spot any accent and lack of options to customize or edit the captions.
When using videos on your website, invest your time creating captions. Ensure the tools that alter appearance and size are available.
Use clear labeling and contrast if you are using the input fields on your website. They are essential in conveying the message. The higher the impediments number on your form, the more inaccessible the form becomes. Create other contact avenues like contact form, email, or phone. They support accessibility.
The cost to make your website accessible depends on where you are now. If you have a website, the cost will depend on the complexity and size of the web. If you don’t have one, the cost will be comparable to the standard website development fees. The reason is that most of these guidelines are compatible with the latest practices.
In your endeavors to make your website more accessible, a few modifications will help to generate a great user experience. Whether you are building your website from scratch or looking for an outside audit of the website accessibility, get good solutions from reputable experts. They will help you set up, test, and release the access network to delight the users.
You can measure your web accessibility using website accessibility tools or the easy checks that W3C provides.
Any requirements? connect with web development company Aalpha & get a free quote.