Web Design | Ankit Gupta | Updated: 2019-10-14
Today, every website owner desires to attract as many visitors as possible. But, a few take the necessary steps to make sure that their website can be used by everyone. There are thousands and millions of users out there who rely on sites being accessible and if you do not take time to understand their requirements, everyone will be missing out.
However, accessibility is not difficult to implement, once you just understand the underlying issues that can make a website hard or impossible to use by certain people, you can take necessary steps to avoid those mistakes and make your website welcoming to all visitors.
Now let's discuss what website accessibility actually involves and why it is so important.
There are many companies that are engaged in delivering excellent web design in India, providing guidance and resources to help you create highly accessible websites. Some of the major steps to make your site accessible to everyone are as follows:
For a website to be accessible, it is necessary to work without the use of a mouse. As many dependable technologies rely on keyboard, it must be possible to use all your website's key features via a keyboard. This consists of accessing all pages, contents, links, and so on. The most usually used method to do this is by using the Tab key to go forward and Shift+ Tab to go backward. If you find it hard that some elements are inaccessible, you need improvements.
In addition to making your website keyboard-friendly, you also need to make sure that all contents on the page are actually accessible. While this is not often a problem, it can be an issue when a page contains dynamic content. The content is dynamic if it can change without the page it's on reloading. This can be a problem if the site does not inform assistive tools of the change. One effective way you can do this is by using ARIA landmarks. These are tags you can add to content so as to clearly describe it on the page. You can tag dynamic content as a live region that facilitates screen readers and similar devices to understand the content as it changes.
The alt text (alt attributes, alt descriptions, or alt tags) is accessed by screen readers to read the picture. Thus, you can use this field to describe an image, providing context to users who would otherwise miss it.
Alt text can also help you to improve your site's SEO, providing search engines more information to crawl. Just ensure to write descriptive summaries of each image, and try to add your keywords whenever it makes sense.
You need to make sure that the colors you select on your website contrast well to ensure that everyone can distinguish between various elements on the page. Reading the text on a background with poor contrast is hard for all users, including those with visual impairment. When designing your color-scheme, you should ensure that the writing stands out cleary.
One of the most important key tasks to make your website accessible is structuring your content by using headers carefully. By doing this you will make your content much easier to understand and improves flow.
Plus, clear headers can also help screen readers to interpret your pages. This makes it much convenient to provide in-page navigation. It is also simple to do as you only need to ensure that you use the right heading levels in your content.
Forms are a relevant addition to most websites but must be designed carefully. You should also focus to place the labels adjacent to the respective fields. While a sighted user can simply match a label to the corresponding field or option, this may not be obvious for those using a screen reader. You should also plan to provide instructions and information in a clear way that the users can easily perceive.
Most devices and browsers can enable users to resize text that can be beneficial for those with visual impairments. However, if you don't make your site to support this feature, resizing text could break your design or make it hard to interact with your website. A good practice to form is to use relative sizes. This enables the text to scale depending on screen size and other content. Also, you should not turn off user scalability as this might stop users from resizing the text in general.
Making sure your website attracting as many visitors as possible should be a top priority. By doing this you can likely see benefits in the form of increased traffic and conversions. And by understanding the possible flaws in your design and content, you can ensure that your website is optimized for accessibility today.
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