Designing accessible websites is crucial to ensure that all users, regardless of their abilities or disabilities, can access and use your website. Web accessibility refers to the practice of designing and developing websites that can be used by people with disabilities. Web accessibility can make a website and its content more user-friendly and easy to understand for all visitors. This includes those with disabilities and limitations such as:
- Low vision
- Learning disabilities
- Cognitive disabilities
- Hearing loss
- Speech disabilities
- Physical disabilities
Tips for Accessibitlity
Below are tips to consider when designing an accessible website:
- Provide text alternatives for non-text content: This includes images, videos, and audio files. Screen readers and other assistive technologies rely on text descriptions to convey the meaning of non-text content to users who cannot see or hear the content.
- Use clear and concise language: Write content in plain language and avoid using technical jargon or complex vocabulary that may be difficult for some users to understand.
- Ensure that the website is keyboard accessible: This means that users should be able to navigate the website using only the keyboard, without having to use a mouse or other pointing device.
- Use color contrast appropriately: Make sure that text and other important elements on the website have sufficient color contrast so that users with visual impairments can easily read and understand the content.
- Provide captions and transcripts for videos and audio files: This is important for users who are deaf or hard of hearing, as well as those who prefer to read the content rather than listen to it.
- Ensure that your website is compatible with assistive technologies: Test your website with assistive technologies such as screen readers and magnifiers to ensure that they work seamlessly together.
- Use proper heading structure: Use proper heading tags (h1, h2, h3, etc.) to structure your content, making it easier for users with visual or cognitive disabilities to navigate your website.
By following best practices such as these, web designers can create websites that are accessible to everyone. To check your site for web accesibility, there are various tools available. WC3, the organization that develops accessibility standards for the Web, has created a list of accesibility tools to use.
For an indepth look at web accessability practices, check out Hubspot’s Web Accessibility: The Ultimate Guide.