The success of any website depends on how it’s users can easily access it. Your users finding the site in the first place is of imortance but helping them to explore various sections of the site is another. While you can enhance the visibility of your site in Search engines through the implementation of SEO strategies, you also need to take measures to create an accessible web design.
The core reason for having accessible web design is that it simplifies the process of exploring and understanding a website. If you don’t work on improving your site’s accessibility, the chances are high that a proportion of visitors will leave within a short period of time. This will increase your “bounce rate” and that’s not considered a good thing by marketers.
Various Disabilities That Render Web Design Inaccessible
Web developers must pay attention to the following reasons for having accessible website design:
The purpose of creating a website is to make it accessible to all the members of your target market, irrespective of their physical conditions. While physically abled people might be able to access your site with ease, users with visual disabilities, hearing disorders and other physical conditions may not be able to reach out to you. even if they might have the potential of becoming your customer.
A person with partial or complete visual disability may not be able to understand images that are not accompanied by text descriptions. With the passage of time, many people have visual challenges such as photophobia, myopia, trachoma, glaucoma and cataracts as they age.
These disabilities cause web access to be much more difficult. To enhance accessibility, text resizing, color contrasts and including alt and skip text with screen readers has been seen to be effective.
Color contrasting is the use of colors that compliment each other as well as fonts that are legible. For other people with limited sight abilities, text resizing is important. Small fonts on any webpage, are difficult to read and so need to be enlarged.
Older people often require reading glasses to enable them to read small text on a website. Images on a webpage should be labeled with alternative sources of information such as “alt” text within html image tags. Loss of hearing can also be problem for people as they age.
Alt text allows assistive technology to read through contents on a website. This feature is used with non-critical information and repetitive information. Alt text, on the other hand, allows the use of assistive technology to read websites and interpret web images correctly.
Lost or altered hearing is another web design accessibility limitation to how a website user can receive information. Technologies used on modern websites can allow users to watch videos, stream music and use different audio devices.
Web designers are advised to use methods and technology that allows users with this disability obtain information via a variety of ways. For example, captions, subtitles and audio transcriptions will help a hearing impaired visitor understand what your video or audio is about.
Open up your podcast to a whole new audience by providing a transcription. These and other ideas can show how you may be missing out on potential customers by not providing several points-of-entry to your information.
People with cognitive, intellectual and neurological disorders can often find it difficult to navigate through a site that has a relatively complex web design. Inconsistent navigation and distracting images and animations can make things worse for people with such disabilities, making the sites inaccessible for them.
The way people access and use the Internet; This is another way by which a web developer can make the website completely inaccessible for people. People who access the Web through mobile phones and web-TV cannot access your site if it does not have a mobile version.
Mental impairment can cover a variety of things and most are not what people think of as classically “mentally impaired”. For example, a very tired person can be considered to be mentally impaired.
How many of these things you would include as mental impairment:
- Someone taking prescription painkillers
- A very tired person
- Someone with the Flu
- Someone suffering from PTSD
- Someone in shock
So you see that they are a variety of reasons that a visitor may be mentally impaired. There are many reasons that cause mental impairment, whether it is temporary or permanent. The internet and web sites can be more important to people with a cognitive impairment because they might find it harder to communicate with people directly.
Other Reasons To Make Websites Accessible
Several other reasons that make a website design inaccessible for people include low bandwidth users, noisy environments, low literacy levels, mobile device use and language barriers. In particular, mobile users are generally now more likely to visit your website than Desktop users.
Many people using mobile devices do not have a full-desktop computer experience and need a cut-down version of your full website.
Things To Make Sure You Do From Now On
In order to improve the accessibility of the website design, web developers must consider the following factors:
Avoid tables for layout
Using tables in the layout is one of the common mistakes by web developers during website design. A table-less web design enhances the accessibility of your web. screen readers and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) can also enhance the design and make it more accessible for the disabled.
Design for different screen resolutions
The ease of using a web design is determined by its accessibility on different devices such as mobile phones. A number of versions of the site ought to be put in place by web developers to enhance the sites accessibility.
Use comprehensible language
The general rule of thumb in web design is that simple design and straightforward content is a must if you want to more people to reach out to you. Simple and useful content is also necessary to enhance the site’s accessibility.
Support content with audio
Users with visual disabilities and low literacy levels would likely prefer to listen to the content rather than to read it. This is why the web developers should add audio that highlights key information on the web page.
There are a number of technologies that enhance access to websites for people with disabilities. An example of such technology is one where a blind person may use the Lynx Browser together with a screen reader that reads out texts on a page.
Someone with a mobility disability may find it a difficult task to use a mouse, but with advanced keyboard navigation may be able to navigate a website.
Many accessibility features on a website benefit all users of the site. A person with a cognitive disability may struggle to read long text passages. By breaking the text into bite-sized texts with a number of headings, you can make the site readable to everyone.
So remember that the accessible web is really for everyone, not just people with disabilities!