Web accessibility is one of the most unnoticed aspects that we often ignore while designing a website. Ideally, it should be considered as an important part of web design & development so that website availability can be improved to the widest possible audience. However, there’s a misunderstanding about web accessibility as many people think that it requires sacrifice of visual appeal and it’s not worth. But, today’s users are accessing the web with many different ways, therefore creating a highly-accessible design that can be viewed by as many ways as possible is vital to the success of a website. These are quick and easy ways to improve the accessibility of a website.
Offer Alternative Text for Images:
It is very important to provide alternative text for all important graphics, and make sure that alternative text provides all of the words.
Name Links Carefully:
Users often navigate a web page by tabbing from link to link in order to find something of their interest. Properly named links are very helpful for the users and they can easily understand what they are going to get by clicking a specific link. For example, “enlarge image” link is more logical than “click here”.
Relative Font Sizes:
Instead of using absolute font sizes expressed in points or pixels, use relative font sizes expressed in percentages. This practice lets the users to make the text smaller or larger as per their needs.
Clearly State Information:
Avoid using color or indentation alone. For example, representing required fields in a form by making them bold is not a good idea. On other hand, indicating required fields with the help of phrase like “essential” is good.
Offer Skip Links:
Skip links allow the users to avoid information that is repeated on every page like navigation bars. Users can use skip links to jump past the repetitive navigation links in order to obtain the main content on the page.
Explain Select Menus:
The default items in the select menu should well explain the use of box. For example, “Select Country Name” is preferable to “India”.
Label Forms Appropriately:
Create your forms in a rational and consistent way. The question or description for each input field should be present on the same line of input field. Consistently put it on the same side of the input field.
Use Heading Elements <H1> to <H6>:
Many users browse through a document by navigating its headings, therefore it is important to use them properly to express document structure. Use heading elements in proper order. For example, H2 elements should go after H1 elements, H3 elements should go after H2 elements, and so on.
Use CSS Instead of Tables:
Instead of tables, use cascaded style sheet (CSS) to organize page content. Using CSS is good practice as it separates content from presentation and allows for more exact control over the layout. With CSS, you can alter the linear layout of a page without changing its visual layout.
Use Different and Meaningful Page Titles:
The first thing a visitor notice right after the web page fully loads is the page title. The worst thing of a website is to having the same name for every page. If your page titles are the same or meaningless, visitors will get confused. So, try to keep page titles distinct and meaningful.
Use Color Carefully:
It is estimated that nine percent of internet users are color deficient or color blind. However, color is used to convey meaning, for example, red always means “stop” and green means “go”. These meanings could be confused to a person with vision mutilation.
Use Tag Elements with Acronyms or Abbreviation:
It is important to use a tag when you are using acronyms and abbreviations. It will give a description of the letters as not everybody may understand the meaning of tight words. For example, if a new programmer is using the internet and enters a page about Web Design and in the middle of the post he finds something an acronym, “CSS”, he’ll surly get confused. By adding the tag elements to your page, you can make your website more accessible to everybody.
Use Accurate Language for Web Control:
In order to boost your web accessibility, it is very important to use accurate and precautious language for web control throughout your website. For example, it is better to use the “gender” instead of “sex.” Using accurate language will insure that your website is perfectly represented and easily searchable by a search engine.
Avoid Using CAPTCHA in Forms:
Try to avoid the use of CAPTCHA in forms, whenever possible as it would be inconvenient for people with limited technology, disabilities, and limited computer skills. If it is absolutely necessary, try to make it as simple as possible.
Design a Well Structured Form:
When you are using a form on your website, make sure it is well structured so that it can be easily used and understood by all people. All users can easily move inside a well designed form with the keyboard regardless of their knowledge and skills, and the lack of technology would not create any problem.
- Make your website more accessible to more users with Introduction to Web Accessibility (googledevelopers.blogspot.com)
- Hitting the accessibility high notes with ARIA (last-child.com)
- CSS Positioning: How it Helps in Creating Web Layouts? (shameemullahs.wordpress.com)
- The blind community has had enough of CAPTCHA (dailydot.com)
- Social Media and Disability (theengagingbrand.typepad.com)
- Web Accessibility Guides for Nonprofits Available for Free Download (bayercenterenews.wordpress.com)
- Getting Started with Responsive Web Design Development Techniques (java.dzone.com)
- Google Gives Online Class on Making Websites Accessible to the Blind (eweek.com)