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The 10 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About Web Accessibility

Developing a website requires much more than just knowing the basic steps. Besides the content and the website’s design, you should also consider web accessibility. The main purpose of your page would be to engage traffic and promote your products or services. You can do this by using different themes, plugins, or some helpful tools, but have you ever questioned yourself about what you need to know about accessibility?

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Our today’s blog tends to help you create a website that will appeal to anyone’s needs. However, you need to keep in mind that there are people with disabilities and that they rely on the accessibility of the website. So, let’s see what you can do about this problem.

How Important is Web Accessibility?

To improve web accessibility, you can use ARIA and VPAT, automated tools, and professional services, but before getting there, do you actually know the importance of web accessibility?

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Important: Web accessibility usually determines how people interact with your website. But, what’s most important is that web accessibility is helpful mainly for people with disabilities.

With technology improvement, there are many ways that help people who don’t see, hear, see only specific colors, etc., to browse on the internet. Due to this, it is of great importance for your page to be accessible to anyone. Before launching your page, you should have an answer to a few questions. Can someone with hearing difficulties, physical impairment, or visual impairment interact easily with your website? If the answer is yes, then you’ve done an excellent job, but if you’re not quite sure about that, you should consider changing something.

As we already mentioned, your website design it’s not the main thing you should be worried about. Of course, having an eye-appealing page is essential, but sometimes this isn’t helpful for those with any kind of disability. When creating a website, you need to find the perfect balance between a pretty and unique design and a well-working page. But, how can you achieve this?

The 10 Things You Should Know to Create an Accessible Website

The website is considered excellent when it has qualitative content, an appealing design and when it provides accessibility. We tried to provide the ten most crucial things you should keep in mind if you want your website to be highly-ranked and, of course, accessible. Let’s have a look at the ten things that will help you create an accessible website, and that will ease your journey.

 

#1: Web Accessibility is for All

In the beginning, when you aren’t much familiar with web accessibility, you might think that it is only about people with disabilities. However, it’s much more than that, and it offers easy navigation for all. Yes, it is 100% true that websites tend to implement features that will help anyone who has some disability, but no matter what, anyone should be comfortable while using your page.

Key takeaway: Web accessibility helps everyone to understand, easily navigate, perceive, contribute and interpret your content.

At the end of the day, we all deserve the same, don’t we?

#2: Web Accessibility is Not a Drawback on Your Way to Success

It is completely wrong to think that web accessibility results in creating a dull website with an ugly design. You can still create a website with an exciting design by incorporating some constraints that web accessibility provides. What you need to understand is that you design for the users who interact and love your products or services, so you should adjust your page for their needs. There are people with:

  • Low vision
  • Color-blind
  • Hearing difficulties
  • Mobility impairments
  • Old
  • Young
  • Casual users

If you always have this on your mind, you shouldn’t have any problem with your website’s design, as you would know what to pay attention to.

#3: Not Everyone Can See Color

The color shouldn’t be your main tool that captures attention. Even though it adds a bit of a ‘spirit’ to the theme, it may not be the best solution. Why so?

Warning: There are many people who are color blind, blind, or have low vision. Using colors as your only means to share your content may confuse some users, as they can’t make a difference between some colors.

To avoid this problem, it would be best if you look at your content in grayscale, so you can see what your page will look like to people with eyesight problems. Once you see what your page looks like, you will know what needs to be improved, and you’ll quickly find ways that will help you improve it. For example, you shouldn’t just mark an error field with a red color. You should include a bolded text or maybe some symbol that will show the users there is a problem with the field.

#4: The Contrast Ratio Between the Content and the Background

According to WCAG 2.1, the minimum contrast ratio should be 4.5:1. To make your page more accessible, try to use a higher contrast ratio than this, but keep in mind that there are always some exceptions for large texts, logotypes, etc. Why this standard is essential is because it makes your page easy to view to any eyesight.

#5: Emphasize Where the Keyboard Focus is

Nowadays, the use of reset style sheets is more frequent, and it has definitely made the life of designers relatively easier. However, this thing has its drawbacks, like making it hard to navigate through the page with only your keyboard. To improve this, it would be best if you create a unique focus box that will be obvious even without any color.

Tip: Adding a tooltip will help you make a more noticeable focus box that everyone will notice.

What’s more, emphasizing the focus box helps older people who can’t keep their hands steady to use the mouse, and it is also helpful for people with some physical impairments.

#6: Don’t Make Users Hover for Information

Another important thing on our list is not to make someone hover for information. Not only people with disabilities but also no one wants to waste much time for simple information. An excellent solution for this would be to add a specific point on the screen or a drop-down menu. However, try not to create a cluttered design that the accessibility software couldn’t explain.

#7: Make Form Field Boundaries Obvious

One of the most important things on your website is definitely the form field. These form fields need to be precisely defined as they sometimes blend with the background and can be hard to notice. The forms should include labels instead of regular text, you can also add a rectangle box that will capture your attention more, and the best part would be to add ‘click here or ‘enter text here.’

#8: Images, Video, or Audio Content Needs Additional Description

The main point of creating a website is to be accessible for everyone, and because of this, you need to keep in mind all those who have some difficulties and try to make this journey easier for them. Having lots of images or videos is excellent, but even better would be to add text for any non-text content, even for the search bar. The additional description of the non-text content drastically improves the accessibility of your web page.

#9: Texts Need to be Accessible

As there was a contrast ratio, WCAG 2.1 thinks that the most successful criterion for TextResizing is 1.4.4. The text needs to be able to resize up to 200% without any helping technology. To create an accessible web page, it is a great idea to follow the WCAG standards.

#10: Non-compliance of Web Accessibility Leads to Legal Penalties

If you don’t take web accessibility that seriously, you might need to change your mind. Why? Although it may not look that serious, you may face legal charges for non-compliance. In the first half of 2018, the Americans with Disability Act recorded more than thousands of lawsuits against website owners. So, it looks like you need to get this thing serious.

 

Wrapping it Up – Web Accessibility Provides Lots of Possibilities

Everyone on the internet wants the same – a website with great content that is accessible to anyone. You should doubt the importance of web accessibility because, as you can see from the ten things a designer needs to know about web accessibility, you may even face charges if you ignore this. However, web accessibility is much more than providing some limits to your web design. You can still create a fantastic website that provides many possibilities for people with disabilities.

Final verdict: Web accessibility opens the doors for many people who have a different kind of disability, and no matter what it is, the website works perfectly well for them too.