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5 ways to make your website accessible to all

When promoting your business, you want to be as inclusive as possible to keep all of your potential client base catered to. 



by
Lead design, UX/CX, UID & brand development
 

However, not every website designer will take the steps necessary to ensure a site can be used by everyone. Fortunately, accessibility isn’t difficult to introduce to your website. We’re taking a look at the importance of web accessibility, what that actually involves and how you can implement it to your site.

What is web accessibility?

Web accessibility means that websites, tools, and technologies are designed so that people with disabilities can use them. The main factor being that the website should be easy to understand and simple to navigate. According to research by Forbes, 71% of users with disabilities will actually leave a website that is not accessible, losing potential customers.

Would your target audience benefit from an accessible website?

Web accessibility doesn’t just apply to users with disabilities. It’s hugely beneficial to look at your target audience and consider whether they may fall into the following categories:

  • People using mobile phones and other devices with smaller screens
  • Elderly people with changing abilities due to ageing
  • People with temporary disabilities, such as a broken bone
  • People using a slow internet connection or who have limited bandwidth

 Considering that in the third quarter of 2020, mobile devices generated 50.81% of global website traffic (Statista), it’s very likely that, by not optimising your site to be accessible, you’re alienating a large share of your audience.

  How to make your website accessible

Fortunately, any aspects of accessibility are fairly easy to understand and implement. Here are five things you can do to improve your web accessibility:

  1. Ensure your website is keyboard friendly: To be completely accessible, your website must work without the use of a mouse, as many assistive technologies rely on keyboard-only navigation. Commonly, users will navigate with the Tab key, which should jump between areas on a page, allowing users to access all web content on the site
  2. Use alt descriptions: Alt text is accessed by screen readers to ‘read’ the picture and dictate its contents to a user with visual impairment. Ensure you are using this field to describe an image, providing context to users
  3. Think about your colours: The spectrum of colour blindness means different people perceive colours in unique ways and affects approximately 1 in 12 men and 1 in 200 women in the world. You need to ensure the colours you select on your site contrast well, with text that clearly stands out against the background
  4. Enable resizable text: Most devices and browsers will enable users to resize text – which can be helpful for those with visual impairments – but your site must be built to support this feature. resizing text could break your design, or make it difficult to interact with your site. A good practice is to avoid specifying text size using pixels and instead use relative sizes, which allow the text to scale
  5. Keep accessibility in mind: While designing your site for accessibility is hugely important, continue the same attitude when creating content. As you add content to your website, continue the same habits, such as adding alt descriptions and ensuring text is easy to understand, as this will prevent you needing to go back on your work and make amendments further down the line.

 

Ensuring your site can be used by everyone is a brilliant step towards more widespread web accessibility. By prioritising accessibility in all areas of your business’s digital space, you can ensure a pleasant customer journey for all, and increase your potential client base.