What do you know about web accessibility? When it comes to web design, creators can occasionally forsake best practices in favour of a cutting edge look. We like to think that we manage to find the happy medium in our websites.
We were recently asked by our client, SUSE, to deliver training sessions to employers/charities throughout March on Understanding Website Accessibility Requirements. This week, our very own Emma conducted the first web accessibility training session.
With this training, we wanted to arm the attendees with a basic knowledge of accessibility guidelines. We aimed to give them the tools to go away and carry out their own assessments of websites, so that they can raise potential issues and take steps to fix them.
Accessibility is something we always have at the forefront of our minds when it comes to web design. Our creative director, Garry, has previously discussed the topic at length. It’s important for us to show our clients how web design and accessibility go hand in hand, and consider the different kinds of accessibility tools people use to interact with websites. In this blog, we cover some of the points made in our training;
What does web accessibility mean?
Making a website or mobile app accessible means making sure it can be used by as many people as possible. This includes those with: impaired vision, motor difficulties, cognitive impairments or learning disabilities, deafness or impaired hearing.
At least 1 in 5 people in the UK have a long-term illness, impairment or disability. Many more have a temporary disability. Accessibility means more than putting things online. It means making your content and design clear and simple enough so that most people can use it without needing to adapt it, whilst also supporting those who do need to adapt things.
What are some tips to improve my website’s accessibility?
We covered a lot of ground in our training, but here are some quick tips for you to consider:
- Platforms – Websites should work on all devices, this includes desktops, tablets and mobile devices. They should also look the same across various browsers.
- Navigation – Not all users move through a website in the same way. Therefore it is important that there are multiple ways for users to reach any page on a site. Support keyboard navigation, utilise site maps and search bars. That way, users can choose whatever route is easiest for them!
- Page Structure – Think about what your page structure would look like with all the visual cues removed, as many people prefer to read web pages in a read-only format. Make sure the page structure is logical, with correct use of headings, paragraphs and lists.
- Copywriting – Your website copy should be clear, concise and consistent throughout your website. Make sure you offer explanations for any abbreviations or technical jargon. Also, be conscious of language that could be construed as ableist or non-inclusive. If you have questions about this, you can consult this government resource.
There are so many more things to consider when it comes to making your website accessible for everyone. We’re delighted to be continuing our web accessibility training throughout March so that more employers and organisations can understand its importance.
If you think your website could use some work to become more accessible, you can contact us to discuss your options.