What is web accessibility?
Making a website or mobile app more accessible means making it as easy to use for as many people as possible. There are five types of disabilities: visual, auditory, cognitive (learning and neurological), motor/physical, and speech disability. If you don’t have a disability or impairment yourself, you likely know someone who does.
What are web accessibility standards?
Web accessibility standards are outlined in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) written by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). These guidelines tell us how to make a website more accessible for people with disabilities or impairments. Within these documents, there are three levels of accessibility, Levels A, AA and AAA with A being the minimum standard to meet.
We, at Spindogs, would recommend AA, as it provides enough features for a broad spectrum of impairments, but it’s also flexible enough to allow your brand personality to shine through.
How can I make my website more accessible?
Write good content that sounds natural!
Get on the same wavelength as your users and write content that they’re going to be able to understand and engage with.
Always write Alt text (alternative text) for your images
Alt Text tells the website (and the viewer) the nature of the image. This allows someone who is partially sighted or blind to understand the images within the page just as well as someone who can see them clearly. It’s also good for SEO! A good tip for this is to imagine you’re on the phone to a friend, they can’t see the image, so you have to paint it for them. Just remember to be as descriptive and concise as possible.
Only use text within your images when it’s absolutely essential
A complex diagram or a logo would be an example where text within an image is OK, but, don’t forget that good old Alt text to help the users understand the image.
Follow colour guidelines where possible
Within the guidelines, there are colour contrasts minimum ratios. This is a calculated value between the text colour and the background colour. Here at Spindogs, we have the tools (and the amazing designers!) to help you choose the best colour palette for your website, with accessibility in mind.
Be careful with fonts too!
Choose simple fonts for your pages, failure to do so can result in a page that’s difficult to read and leave you with high bounce rates.
Make appropriate use of headings and paragraphs
Making use of H1’s, H2’s and paragraph text allows your users to follow the flow of your content properly, this is especially important for longer pages and posts.
Describe your links clearly
‘Click here!’ isn’t going to cut it if someone doesn’t know what they’re clicking on, make sure you’re describing the link you’d like the user to click on. Instead, try something like ‘learn how to make your website more accessible by clicking here’.
There are a lot of technical things to consider that also come under the umbrella of web accessibility, but that’s for us (or your developer) to worry about when building your website! All we need from you to deliver an accessible website is for you to be aware, empathetic and open-minded! Putting yourself in your user’s shoes can really help you understand why all these things need to be considered.
If you need any advice on how to implement these accessibility features across your website, please get in touch below, we’d be happy to help!