Web accessibility and why it’s important

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Web accessibility and why it’s important

round image web accessibility
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Web accessibility is the process of making your website friendly to people with different disabilities. If you haven’t done so yet, you’re missing out on a lot! Read on to know more.

“We need to make every single thing accessible to every single person with a disability.” – Stevie Wonder

Why Your Website Needs Web Accessibility?

  • Increases Audience: There are over 14 million disabled people in the U.K alone. So, by not having an accessible website, you’ll be leaving a huge chunk of the audience on the table. The type of audience that would follow your website consistently.
  • Improved SEO: Having good search engine optimization is imperative if you want to climb those ranks in SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). And no matter how many strategies you follow, if you don’t have accessibility enabled, you’ll lose ranks to the websites that do because Google now emphasizes having it. Having an accessible website means a huge chunk of people will not close your site immediately as it’ll be browsable for them; this will decrease the bounce rate, a factor measured by Google to calculate your ranking.
  • Loss of Business: Businesses in the U.K lost £17.1 billion in 2019 just because of not having web accessibility. People with disabilities have a very high purchasing power; it is imperative your website or online store has the accessibility feature enabled to provide them with a better shopping experience.
  • Positive Brand PR: The present times support digital activism, which means consumers support companies that share their values and beliefs. If a company doesn’t discriminate and goes out of its way to make the website accessible to people with disabilities, it’ll positively impact its PR.
  • Legal Compliance: Some companies are required by the law to meet the accessibility regulations for their websites. Not doing this can result in fines and penalties. Read more about them here.

5 Steps to Making an Accessible Website:

  1. Keyboard-Friendliness: An accessible website needs to work without a mouse, and for that, you have to make it keyboard-friendly. The best way of doing this is to ensure the user can jump between areas of the page using the ‘Tab’ key. You can do that with the help of Keyboard Focus.
  2. Break Content Logically: Use H1, H2, H3 subheadings to break the page into sub-sections. This will help people with vision problems use screen readers to go through your website easily. Plus, it’ll be easier for them to have the screen reader read them the headings first so they can directly jump to the section they are more interested in.
  3. Leverage Text Alternatives: Use text-alternative content in your website to help people who cannot effectively read due to any disability consume content better. You can use lots of images to convey what’s written, leverage audio recordings of text, and integrate text reading on braille devices.
  4. Captions & Transcripts: If your website has multimedia content, make sure to add subtitles and transcripts to help people with audio impairment consume the content.
  5. Presentation of Content: There should be options to have the website colour changed, distracting screen items like blinking cursor or screen flashes limited, and time-sensitive elements like image slideshow adjusted.

Parting Words:

Ensure the content appears and flows on your website in predictable ways, so it doesn’t cause frustration among accessibility users when they visit it the next time. Doing all of these things will help you better serve your audience’s needs and grow your user base.

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Colin (MrMorph) is creative director at Tmorph Digital Design. I have been working as a designer for over three decades and have amassed a great deal of experience in digital marketing and design. I'm passionate about web design, and I'm always looking for new ways to do things and solving problems that might not exist yet, I am a bit of a forward thinker. If I'm not in front of a computer, I'm probably behind my camera, on my bike or enjoying some music with my family.
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