When designing a website, you’re probably thinking about how you want it to look, including the kinds of images you want to display, the fonts and colors you will use that are a part of your brand image, and the content you’ll need. But, you might not be aware that making your website accessible is just as important as all of those other things.
Web accessibility is about ensuring your website is reachable and usable by everyone, including those with disabilities or other restrictions. That said, accessibility is a vital part of website design.
Let’s take a look at six ways you can design your website with web accessibility in mind.
One of the first ways you can make a website accessible is to use high-contrast colors throughout the pages. You want people who view your site to be able to see the text easily and clearly.
Using a white background with black, even bolded, text is one way to do this, or you could use a dark background with white text. Whatever you choose, be sure to run the web page through a contrast checker to verify that it meets the standards for accessibility.
Your next step is to ensure you use the proper headings for each web page. By writing the HTML code of your website with H1, H2, and H3 headers, that content will be correctly separated from the main text. This results in a cleaner visual distinction between headers and body text and enables viewers with screen readers to understand your web page.
Next, we highly recommend including descriptive alt text on all images you use on your website. Alt text is a brief, written description of what an image conveys and is especially useful for infographics and other informative images. This text enables screen readers to communicate the meaning of an image and will enable people with limited bandwidth to load your web page without having to load the image itself.
Another essential aspect of accessibility to consider in website design is whether or not it can be navigated using only a keyboard and no mouse. Unlike contrasting colors or alt text, ensuring your website is keyboard navigable will require a more in-depth focus on coding. Menus, sub-menus, anchor links, and more are all part of designing an accessible website.
The next thing to do to make your website accessible is to add captions or transcripts to all videos. Like alt text, this will enable people with screen readers to understand your content. Furthermore, adding captions and transcripts can boost your website’s SEO status, making it doubly important.Also read: 10 Best Android Development Tools that Every Developer should know
Finally, you want to make all forms on your website clear and easily understandable, visually and by screen readers. This means using descriptive, high-contrast label text for each form field and placing this text in a logical spot, for instance, to the left of the field. Doing this will ensure all users can use and fill out your forms without confusion.
While these are six easy ways to design an accessible website, we should note that there are many other things to consider, including color, interactive elements, spacing, controls, and more. Remember that when you’re designing a website, be it on your own or through a design system, accessibility should be a consideration at every stage of the process.
Through accessibility, everyone has the same ability to access information and entertainment, and they’ll be more likely to engage with a website they can actually use – a benefit for them and for your business.
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