It’s become a bit of an urban myth in the world of web design that if your website looks stylish enough you’ve got a fantastic website. However, that is far from the case. The visual aspect is only half the battle in creating a great website. And it’s not half as important as the website’s accessibility. Here’s 6 ways to make sure you have an accessible website.
A lot of disabled users will be trying to navigate your website using an alternative keyboard or another input device. It is important, then, that your website facilitates this, as not to lose users. You can test whether your website is currently doing the job by disconnecting your mouse, and pressing ‘tab’ to navigate, and then ‘enter’ to activate a link or form control.
As not to alienate your users who cannot see, ensure you use alternative text with your images, and screen reader to read the content out loud, so those users are able to get as much from your website as users whose vision isn’t impaired. Not only that, but by using alternative text, you will boost your SEO, as it helps search engines identify your images. Double win.
Avoid using ambiguous hyperlink titles like ‘click here’, ‘see details’, ‘more info’, etc, which could confuse users, especially those who may be navigating your website via sound alone, as out of context they don’t mean anything, and you could find your users starting to drop when they get fed up trying to solve your website’s riddle.
How easy is your website to read? People who have problems with colour, or with their vision, may find the text on your website difficult to read if the contrast to your website’s background colour isn’t high enough. It’s a common trend at the moment to put light grey text on a white background, for instance. It may look slick and sophisticated, but it’s a nightmare to try and read. Check out this great tool to check your colour contrast.
Transcripts and subtitles
Create a transcript file or make subtitles for any audio and video feature on your website. This will aid people with hearing difficulties so that they don’t lose out on the information you are offering through these multimedia features. uiAccess provide this great list of transcription services to make transcribing even easier.
Another way you can help your users who are visually impaired and are using audio to navigate your website is to include form labels which identify your users needs.
By enhancing your website’s accessibility, you are helping users enjoy their experience in visiting your website, which will mean great PR for your business, and great morale for your users. It will also improve your chance of your customer base growing, and conversions increasing.
If you’re looking for an experienced team to help you improve the accessibility of your website, please don’t hesitate to get in touch via the contact form below. We’re always happy to help.