Accessibility in Web Design: Catering to People with Disabilities

by Kamilla Sterling-Parker

In today’s digital age, accessibility is a critical component. It might be difficult for site designers and authors to keep this reality in mind while producing. More individuals, though, require the capacity to traverse a website—or the internet as a whole.
In the United States, one out of every four adults has a handicap. This statistic alone demonstrates the critical necessity of digital accessibility. Here’s how you get it done, from eCommerce storefronts to email marketing to user-friendly site design.

Web Design Accessibility

The people that visit your website are a diverse bunch. Each guest has their own set of desires, as well as their own set of requirements.

Designing for accessibility does not imply building a website devoid of the features you enjoy. It will, on the contrary, assist you in coming up with new, more basic concepts.

Create buyer personas that are inclusive of people with disabilities.

When it comes to buyer personas, your teams should look at the User Experience (UX) of your website in terms of accessibility.

Determine the percentage of your users who require accessibility by doing research. The next order of business would be to determine their precise requirements.

Because your consumers aren’t flawless, neither should your user personas be.

If you’re hesitant, turn to your social media channels and ask your followers for feedback on the material you provide and the sorts of posts they’d like to see. Create new methods to help and engage your buyer personas by asking questions.

This insight will enable you and your team to approach web design in general, and accessible web design in particular, from a new viewpoint.

Color-coding should be avoided.

Use colour as a secondary visual signal when expressing essential information, demonstrating an activity, or eliciting a response. Your material will be difficult to interpret for people with low visual acuity or colour blindness.

Color-blind people will be able to read the message just as well as others with normal eyesight. Colored text is untrustworthy, especially when it comes to displaying a website mistake. Other options include bolding or underlining the word, or even adding a tiny symbol like the one above.

Other parts of your website and marketing activities should follow the same procedure. When creating graphs, charts, or statistics, keep this in mind.

If you want to make a website that is accessible to everyone, you may use labels, for example. Using different sized forms to highlight key information while downplaying secondary information is a fantastic concept.

If you’re not sure, you may either perform colour blindness tests on your website or print the page or graph in black and white if you’re not sure.

You’ll be able to see for yourself and ensure that everything you need is visible.

At this point, I’d want to make a brief reference to contrast once again.

Contrast is critical for every visual marketing action that has a direct impact on UX, as it is for those who have vision impairment.

According to the WCAG standards, the contrast ratio between text and background should begin at 4.5 to 1. If you want a bolder font, use a 3 to 1 ratio.

Any of the following should be checked for contrast:

Menu items and buttons

Text for the placeholder

Logos

High contrast frequently produces an image for a website that many marketers or businessmen did not want; for some, it might be excessively “strong” or “loud.”

Making a website accessible, on the other hand, is more prefered.

Use Icons and Keep It Simple

Simplified navigation may go a long way towards making a website more user-friendly.

Things that we think of as “common sense” aren’t often that common, which means you’ll need to do usability testing first to ensure that everything runs smoothly. You may rely on your big data analytics to figure out what’s lacking from your website.

For example, you could discover that you require a sitemap. Sitemaps are designed to aid in website navigation and are especially beneficial to individuals with impairments.

It may be quite useful for those who aren’t familiar with websites in general, old people who need to access the internet, and so on.

People with reading impairments, such as dyslexia, will benefit from keeping your pages brief and your headers informative and in a logical location on the website.

Long paragraphs are difficult for people with dyslexia to read. In this context, accessibility refers to material and design that is concise, informative, and organised logically.

Use autocomplete as well, but with a twist. Because autocomplete demands near-perfect spelling, persons with dyslexia, particularly those with severe dyslexia, may benefit greatly from symbols placed next to words.

That way, they’ll be able to tell which symbol to select while browsing for a podcast with a name that’s the same as or similar to a movie. Of fact, the same idea may be applied to practically any list.

You may use it for menus or even go one step further and display a pencil and a trash symbol next to one of the fields the user has completed.

Keyboard Usability 

A huge number of people, like myself, prefer to utilise keyboard shortcuts rather than their mouse.

Add to it the folks that require accessibility in order to benefit from the experience you provide on your website. One of the most important things to consider is keyboard accessibility, since it may impair the user experience for more individuals than you might imagine.

Allow your users to perform everything with their keyboard rather than their mouse if you’ve opted to develop a website with a gamification aspect, such as an interactive quiz page.

In that situation, the page order is quite important. You’ll need logical order, from left to right and top to bottom, to allow the user to instinctively know where to look rather than searching for that tiny green square on the screen.

Email Marketing Accessibility

Email marketing is a must-have for all types of organisations, emphasising the importance of accessibility.

Choosing one of the finest email marketing platforms is important for every business. It’s just as vital to choose a mailing design that is inclusive. Here are a few measures to follow in order to make email marketing more accessible.

Create an email that is clear and concise.

Tables are required in email templates and email newsletters in order to generate an email layout that works across devices and email clients.

You may construct an HTML email using the following attributes to establish a logical arrangement for your email’s content:

Make use of headings: The H1 tag, H2 tag, and so on will not only make your email’s content stand out, but they will also help your email’s content stand out. For people who can’t see your material and require an assistive device to read it, those pieces will establish a logical reading sequence.

People with visual impairment or colour blindness will struggle to discern between the letters in your email and the backdrop image if you use contrasting colours. It’s a bad idea to pick colours for your emails just to make them more accessible. Consider the fact that 300 million individuals worldwide are colorblind. When it comes to the substance of your email newsletters, be sure to utilise more microcopy and less colour signals.

Describe your link using link text: A screen reader won’t be able to tell the difference between a CTA and the rest of your content. This differentiation is achieved via the use of images. Screen readers will be able to interpret descriptive text linked in code. “Click on the link for more information” is a great link text example.

For your pictures, use alt-text: Make certain that it accurately portrays your picture. A screen reader will be able to explain the image in this manner.

Consult the American Disability Association (ADA).

If you’re still unclear, research the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and construct a checklist based on their recommendations.

By taking into account the points above, you’ll be able to design a website that is accessible to people with disabilities first and foremost, as well as power and beginner users.

Final Thoughts

If we’re talking about comprehensive accessibility and inclusion in UX, we’ll need to take even more steps, but there are certain fundamentals to address.

If you utilise genuine, relatable consumer personas, you’ll find that there are more individuals struggling to use any website on the internet right now than you may think.

The trick is to review your data and, of course, to A/B test each version to ensure that everything works as planned.

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