Would you willingly reduce your potential website audience by 53 million people? When you launch a design without testing it for accessibility, that’s exactly what you’re doing. Individuals with a disability may find pages difficult to navigate or impossible to read. They get frustrated with this experience and may navigate right to a competitor’s website. By incorporating accessibility best practices, you create a website usable for every visitor.
Here’s our top 6 website accessibility tips to easily improve your website:
1. Use Alt Tags on Images
Visually impaired users have screen readers to help them consume the content on sites. They lose out on the impact of any images if you don’t have text descriptions associated with each picture. Alt tags provide the necessary context for these visitors so they don’t miss out on essential information. Err on the side of detailed copy rather than trying to keep it simple.
2. Consider Colorblindness When Choosing Design Colors
Color selection plays a major role in your website design, especially when it comes to considering the needs of colorblind users. Red-green colorblindness, which is the most common type, can make certain portions of your website unusable if you have the wrong color combinations. Use a tool that shows you how your design looks for the different types of color blindness, such as Vischeck or Coblis.
3. Incorporate Header Tags
Header tags, such as H1, H2 and H3, do more than structure your content and improve your search engine optimization. They also provide useful navigation cues for accessibility tools. Users can skip between sections with keyboard shortcuts or quickly grasp the main topics of a web page.
4. Add Subtitles and Transcriptions for Your Video Content
Online videos are engaging and convey a lot of information in a short time. However, people with hearing impairments struggle with websites that have a significant number of videos. You have two ways to make this content more accessible. The first method is incorporating subtitles into your videos so users don’t need sound to understand what’s going on. Viewers who look at your website with their sound muted can also benefit from this improvement. The second technique is creating transcriptions, which is useful for extended content.
5. Implement Form Labels
Are your website forms easy to understand? Labels allow the users to know exactly what they need to put into each field without any guesswork. Take a step back, and think about what people see when they provide this information. If you have rules on the types of characters required for a specific field, list this information to reduce frustration.
6. Thoroughly Test for Accessibility
Before you can call your website an accessibility success, you need to thoroughly test it to make sure it’s working properly. If possible, collaborate with users from the disabled community to conduct real-world testing. While you can’t try out every accessibility tool available to ensure compatibility, you can easily accommodate the most popular packages. Continually gather feedback from your visitors so you can fix any unexpected issues or incorporate more ways to provide an inclusive website experience.
Accessibility improvements give your site many benefits, especially for people who use assistive technology to browse the Internet. Create a welcoming place for every visitor who stops by your online presence rather than reducing your reach with a hard-to-use design. You also get the side benefits of better search engine optimization and well-structured content.
Know of any other helpful website accessibility tips? Please share in the comments below!