Web Design | Ankit Gupta | Last 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.
An Introduction to Web Accessibility:
Ideally, everyone should be able to use any website on the internet and there should not be any matter if they have a condition that affects their capabilities or what software and hardware they need to use. This is the main principle behind the concept of web accessibility.
There are millions of internet users who have special needs, disabilities, and impairments that can make it hard or even impossible for them to use certain types of websites. By designing your website with keeping these challenges in mind, you can assure that the website is welcoming to as many users as possible.
There are a lot of conditions and disabilities that can affect the way people use websites. Some of the most common categories of impairments are Visual impairment, hearing impairment, physical disabilities, cognitive disabilities, and photosensitive seizures. To work around these issues, many people use dependable technologies to browse the internet. This includes screen readers that can vocalize the text on each page, speech recognition software that can convert speech into text, Braille terminals, and even alternative keyboards that can accommodate special needs. Like this, it is possible for almost anyone to browse the web.
Why Making Your Website Accessible for Everyone should be a Priority?
Improving accessibility on your website provides you with a number of benefits. It can immediately expand your potential audience. If more users are able to use your website, you have just grown your potential user base rapidly. This results in putting you one step ahead of competitors who may not have taken the same steps towards accessibility. There are many considerations involved in making your website more accessible that will also improve its overall design and usability. Today, the improved web design in India helps you in making your site more flexible and future-proof along the way.
Finally, it's crucial to note that many countries have laws regarding web and software accessibility. As such, you may be legally required to match specified accessibility standards. There are certain guidelines or outline steps that you can take to make your website more user-friendly.
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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