Web accessibility refers to ensuring a website is equally available to people of all abilities. Every visitor to a website should have the same access to the goods and services a website provides.
In this article, we cover the most common practices to improve accessibility across a website.
In the words of our own Lead Designer, Gavin James-Weir:
“Web accessibility has been a big topic for a few years now, but recently we’re seeing a huge priority increase in ensuring sites are usable for everyone. The main focus from a design perspective is making sure fonts are readable and scaled well, colours have a good, clear contrast and any interaction points are large enough to be used by anyone with any visual or physical impairments.”
If that’s not enough, accessible websites tend to be better coded, more robust and rank higher on search engines.
We have compiled this checklist with common errors in website builds that prevent pages from being accessible to all.
Too Much Content
Excessive content on web pages can overwhelm users, especially those with cognitive or attention-related challenges.
As a solution, simplify language and use plain English. By presenting information concisely and clearly, you enhance the overall accessibility of your content, making it more digestible for a broader audience.
While ReCAPTCHA serves as a security measure, it can be a barrier for users with disabilities, such as those with visual impairments.
To address this, consider incorporating alternative verification methods, like audio challenges or accessible puzzles, to ensure that users of all abilities can access your services securely.
Issues with readability, such as insufficient colour contrast, the use of all-capital headings, or poorly aligned text, can hinder comprehension.
Ensuring that your website design adheres to accessibility standards will alleviate these pain points. Implementing suitable colour contrasts, avoiding all-capital headings, and left-aligning text contribute to a more readable and inclusive user experience.
Distracting Images and Graphics
Overly animated or distracting visuals can be problematic for users with sensory sensitivities or attention disorders.
Provide users with the option to control on-screen motion. This empowers individuals to customise their experience, minimising distractions and ensuring a more comfortable interaction with your website.
Poor Link Information
Unclear or ambiguous link information can confuse users, particularly those relying on screen readers.
As a solution, provide concise and descriptive link text. Clear and meaningful link descriptions enhance navigation, allowing users to understand the destination before clicking, which is particularly valuable for those using assistive technologies.
Complex form-filling processes can be a significant barrier, especially for users with motor skill impairments or cognitive difficulties.
Implementing autofill options simplifies and expedites the input process, improving the overall user experience for individuals who may struggle with manual data entry.
Provide Text Alternatives
Images, videos, and audio without text alternatives exclude users who rely on screen readers or have difficulty processing non-text content.
Ensure that each multimedia element has a comprehensive text alternative. This not only improves accessibility but also ensures that all users can access and understand the information presented on your website.
Keep Testing Website Accessibility
Regular testing is essential to identify and rectify potential accessibility issues promptly.
Conducting ongoing assessments using tools like screen readers, keyboard navigation, and other assistive technologies helps maintain an inclusive and accessible website. Regular testing ensures that your site remains user-friendly for individuals with diverse abilities and disabilities.
This web accessibility checklist addresses common issues that can hinder a website’s inclusivity. It emphasises simplifying language for better comprehension, providing alternative verification methods for ReCAPTCHA, and ensuring readability through proper design elements. Advocate for user control over distracting visuals and ensure clear link information for navigational ease.
Simplifying form filling with autofill options and incorporating text alternatives for multimedia elements are crucial steps. Continuous testing will identify accessibility issues, ensuring developers and designers can build inclusive and user-friendly websites.
If you are interested in learning more about how Propeller can improve your company’s online presence, reach out to us here.