Web accessibility is making sure that all users, including people with disabilities, are able to view, navigate and interact with a website. It means designing your website to ensure that no barriers exist to prevent all users from accessing a website. Web accessibility is a key component of good website design.
Why is it important?
“The power of the Web is in its universality. Access by everyone regardless of disability is an essential aspect.” - Tim Berners-Lee, W3C Director
The Web should essentially be accessible and inclusive to all individuals with a diverse range of hearing, movement, sight and cognitive ability. It is important for web designers and developers to create high quality websites that do not exclude people from accessing information, products or services. In website design, being mindful of web accessibility will improve the user experience for not only users with disabilities but for all users.
The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)
Published by the Web Accessibility Initiative of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the WCAG are part of a series of guidelines that address web accessibility.
Here are three examples of some of the basic recommendations to consider when it comes to website design:
Sufficient contrast between foreground and background. Is there enough contrast between the colour of the text and the background where it is placed, whether on the page itself, a button or an image? Insufficient contrast or using colours that are too bright can make reading the text difficult for some people.
Image and media alternatives. For example, placing links to transcripts beside any audio or video. Another option is to ensure that there are captions within videos. This also includes the use of “alt” text on all images.
Don’t use color alone to convey information. For example, when indicating required fields in a form, use an asterisk in addition to colour to identify the required fields. This way you are providing additional identification to differentiate elements and are not solely relying on colour perception.
Does your current website meet the current accessibility standards? If you’re in need of a new website that’s up to par with web accessibility, please get in touch! Our experts in website design are ready to talk all things websites and create something you can get excited about.