In today’s age in which digital marketing is among the best ways of conducting business, having a functional website is key to your success. One thing you need to understand when designing a website, however, is that you will potentially be reaching a huge, diverse audience of varying degrees of ability. With this in mind, the best way of attaining your intended audience is to make your website as accessible as possible. This includes making your website accessible to all online-capable devices as well as adhering to the more important concern of ensuring people with disabilities can use your site. Here are some ways to increase the accessibility of your website.
Americans with Disabilities Act
Before you start work on your website, educate yourself on what is ADA compliance. The ADA, or American with Disabilities Act, is a United States law that prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities. This means that all public spaces are required to accommodate those with disabilities, making all places inclusive and accessible for everybody. This law started for physical public locations, and as time went on, included the internet in that criteria as digital spaces grew in prevalence. A website that is ADA compliant should have a design that all visitors regardless of physical and mental ability can use and comprehend. There are many facets to making an inclusive and accessible website. Read on for some tips for designing your website to be as accessible as possible.
1. Usage of Color and Minimizing Flashy Visuals
If you are not colorblind, it is easy to take the ability to see the entire spectrum of color for granted, as many people do not have that luxury. As such, you should not rely on color to be a crucial part of your web design and graphics. Red and green are common colors affected by colorblindness, so avoid using these as much as possible. Instead of differentiating navigational icons on your site by color, use shapes, or better yet, text that could be read by screen-reading software. In addition, be wary of using animated GIFs, busy images, or strobing visuals, as this could negatively affect users with epilepsy. Less important but still worth keeping in mind is that these kinds of imagery can slow down or crash some web browsers. When designing the visuals of your site, opt for a more basic, minimalistic look.
2. Opting for a Readable User Interface
While the temptation may be there to load up your site with impressive graphics, your main focus should be on making sure the website is readable by all users. Make sure the text is large enough and in a readable font and color. Also, utilize white space between text to keep the site from being too cluttered with words. It is important that the text not run together or run off-screen, so it could be picked up and be legible by screen-reading software. Ensuring that your interface is readable, easy on the eyes, and not visually busy is key to a friendlier user experience.
3. Subtitles and Transcripts
If your site includes videos with voice, include subtitles for those who are hard of hearing, do not have sound on their device, or otherwise have difficulty understanding the spoken word. If you have audio files on your site, provide text transcripts for the same reason, so listeners can follow along with text if they have trouble keeping up with speech.
4. Accommodating All Devices
Nowadays, people can access the internet in more ways than ever before on a variety of internet-capable devices. Ensure your site can be as accessible on mobile devices as on computers, so all users can read and understand your site. For mobile interfaces, make text links large enough for touch controls.
Keep all users in mind when designing your business website. By keeping your site accessible to everyone, you will guarantee a smooth experience for your clients.