Stop for a while and think about yesterday. Imagine you use a computer to navigate the time of day. Did you order what you need online? Do you have a job? Have you scheduled a doctor’s appointment?
Faced with reality, we are more and more dependent on websites today than ever before. You don’t even have to leave home to pay the bills, the grocery store, or even go to the doctor. We will also encounter frustrating moments when certain functions on the website do not work correctly. Now, imagine whether this is a daily problem for you.
The website should be “user-friendly,” but not everyone is. Often, websites do not get designed for accessibility, so anyone with a disability can use them.
According to 2012 data, nearly one in five Americans has some disability. Worldwide, approximately 1 billion people (15% of the world’s population) live with disabilities. As part of the 8th Global Accessibility Awareness Day on Thursday, Thrive Internet Marketing Agency is committed to raising awareness of digital access and inclusion that affects all persons with disabilities.
The thriving designers and developers work closely with clients and recommend best practices from the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Our job is to solve problems. How can we get something in front of more people? How can we make a product more efficient? If the population has a large part of it getting ignored, we are not doing our job correctly.
Each person deserves to use a website, no matter whatever they are dealing with if it is a permanent or temporary disability. The internet has gotten integrated into people’s daily lives, and when you do not have the option to use it, you are taking something away, which is not correct.
5 Simple Ways That You Can Make Your Site More Accessible
By improving the accessibility of your website, you can use it whether it is a permanent disability like visual impairment, a temporary disability like a broken arm, or even a situational disability like someone with the sun shining on their screen.
Besides, you can expand the range of potential audiences to ensure you are not isolated from any users or potential customers.
Don’t worry, and you don’t have to invest many additional resources to make your website more accessible.
Rethink Color Choices
Color is a vital element of a website, but it gets often overlooked. Different people perceive colors in unique ways, so your website looks different to everyone. Color blindness is a common disability. Red-green is the most common form of insufficient color, followed by blue-yellow. When designing a website, you should use high color contrast and other methods instead of setting a different color for hyperlinks (for example, bold or underlined text).
Trello has a great feature, and it uses patterns instead of colors to represent various labels.
Call-to-action buttons on websites usually get represented in bright colors. Most people browse websites, so if the call-to-action button is in a problematic color range for someone to see, you may miss a transaction. “
If the contrast between the background and foreground text is low, your text may also be challenging to read. Make sure your text stands out in the context of your choice.
Not sure how to measure the contrast between colors? You can find some color contrast checking tools on WebAIM. We also like Contrast Checker very much.
Add Alternative Text To Your Images
Another way to ensure that screen readers can access your website is to add alternate text to all images.
Alternate text is a short description of the picture, like “small child in hat plays with a puppy.” Many people never notice these descriptions, but a screen reader will need them. Screen readers are a type of technology that assists the visually impaired or the blind. The software application uses a text-to-speech (TTS) engine to convert the screen’s information into speech.
What is good alt text? The text should contain the information you want to convey through images, and it should be descriptive. That is essential for content such as charts and infographics. If the image contains text, the text should also get included in alt format.
However, if you only use the image as a decoration, you can leave the alternate text blank.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Is the information displayed through an image or represented by alternative text or another way?
- Is the alt-text considered descriptive?
- Do all of the essential images have alt texts?
Well-designed alternative text can improve the SEO of your website. That may bring you more traffic and conversions. Make sure to provide a descriptive summary for the image and include keywords applicable to improve your SEO with alt text.
Make Sure Your Site Is Usable Without A Mouse
All users should be able to browse your website content clearly and logically. Keep in mind that not everyone is able to use a trackpad or mouse. Assistive technology can help people with disabilities access websites, ensuring that every visitor can access the information and features. There are some people who will use mouth sticks, single-switch input, screen readers, or keyboards.
Avoid only activated elements when the user hovers over the item because screen readers and keyboard-only users usually cannot access them. The best way to test this is to try to navigate your website without using your mouse.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Is the tab order logically flowing?
- Is there a clear focus state?
- Does the content seem accessible using the tab function?
You can check out WebAIM to help with accessibility designs for keyboards.
Ensure That Your Links Have Descriptive And Unique Names
If you want to make your site more ADA friendly, use text to describe where your link will go. For instance, if you use click here, then you know it is not descriptive. That is not effective for screen readers who may not be able to read the link inside of the context of your page. You will need to be specific, like Click here to read about us instead of click here. That is much easier for someone who uses screen readers to follow.
Another good example is if you have an email signup form, you will want to use the subscribe now button instead of submitting it. That is providing a clear description of what the user will be doing.
Screen reader users will often go through links by searching through the first letter to provide unique content of the link first.
Do Not Use Media That Is Auto-Playing
That is another way that you can improve the accessibility of your website. Please do not use any elements on your site to start without a user prompting it to do so.
When you visit the web, it annoys everyone and starts to make noise. Although most of us click off quickly, those who rely on assistive technology may not be very relaxed. It may not be closed at all. That is a quick way to lose visitors.
There is nothing more annoying than having auto-playing media, but it can also be a health hazard for people who have PSE or photosensitive epilepsy. People who have PSE will be sensitive to quick-moving patterns and flashing lights.
There is an analysis tool for PSE that you can use for free. It was developed by the University of Maryland College of Information to identify the risk of seizures in their online content and software.
It’s best to avoid designing carousels and sliders to avoid frustrating users who need more time to absorb information before moving on to the following picture or slide.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Does the site have rapid moving patterns or flashing lights located anywhere?
- Can the media be used with a keyboard?
- Can the user start the content without the use of auto-play?
Expert tip: If you have the time and resources, please provide closed captions and subtitles for all media.
These five easy ways to make your website more accessible can’t cover everything, but this is an excellent start to make your website more useful for everyone. Remember that you are making these design changes to remove any barriers that prevent people from accessing your website and (maybe) purchasing your products or services.
These days, people’s awareness of accessibility has improved. More and more companies realize that it is easier to access websites. They are beginning to see that they can make many small changes, bringing about significant changes. Making any changes is a step in the right direction-it can increase visibility and inclusiveness and show your users that everyone is welcome.
If you want to make your website more accessible, please contact us immediately. We can perform an accessibility review on your website.