Make Your Website More Accessible by Ensuring These 6 Things
Around 200 new websites find themselves on the internet every minute. So, every day, you have around 300,000 new websites. Thanks to content management systems (CMS) like WordPress and Shopify, developing and maintaining a website is now easier than ever. However, not all these websites are accessible to specially-abled people.
Accessibility issues prevent these people from enjoying all the benefits that a website may provide. These issues usually pop up surrounding a website’s user interface or functionalities.
By ensuring WCAG and ADA compliance guidelines, you can make your website more accessible to specially-abled people. To help you out with that, here are a few tips.
#1. Include Specially-Abled People in Your Design Process
When designing a website, UI/UX designers and the developers usually share the most input. It’s their ideas that give shape to the final look of your website.
However, in most cases, this approach leaves out differently-abled people. As a result, the final product isn’t as user-friendly to that particular group of people as it is for the rest.
The only solution to this is to include specially-abled people in your design process. It will help you realize the ADA and WCAG compliance guidelines and also help develop the accessibility criteria for your site.
Bouncing ideas off one another in this process makes for a more user-friendly website that caters to a much wider demographic.
#2. Think Automation
Web accessibility solutions are more advanced these days. You can now opt for an automated web accessibility solution by accessiBe that uses an AI-powered accessibility widget.
Doing so will make your life a lot easier and will also ensure that you’re following the digital accessibility compliance guidelines.
Automating the accessibility options will also allow you to incorporate in-house changes. So, you don’t always have to reach out to your developer to fix or modify things for you.
The web accessibility solution provider and their support team can help you with that.
#3. Always Include Alt Tags
A screen reader reads the website texts aloud for someone with a visual impairment. So, what happens when the screen reader comes face to face with an image?
AI-powered screen readers are smart enough to identify the images themselves. They will then describe the image to the user accordingly. However, not everyone uses AI-powered screen readers. So, for them, you need to provide alt texts.
The screen reader can simply read out the alt text accompanying the picture. That way, the user will know that the website has a picture of a cat, dog, or a product you might be selling.
You must be somewhat descriptive with these images so that the user can create a visual in their heads. For instance, don’t just say it’s an image of a cat. Write that it’s an image of a cat sitting on a chair inside a house with yellow walls.
Alt tags also help with your website’s SEO rankings. So, you can benefit in multiple ways by including them.
#4. Use Subtitles or Closed Captions
In the case of images, you can use alt text. For videos, you have to include subtitles or closed captions.
The subtitles will help people with hearing impairments. People with both hearing and visual impairments can rely on their screen readers. The screen reader will read the captions as they appear on the screen.
#5. Make Sure the Links are Descriptive
Many websites make it unbearable for people by flooding them with unnecessary links. When you’re trying to buy something on a website, the web page will probably have at least three or four links for buying.
However, only one of those links is the purchase option for the product you want. The others will redirect you to other product pages.
To prevent such confusion, make your links as descriptive as possible. For instance, when someone is buying a chair, the purchase link should read, “Click here to buy this chair for $10,” instead of a simple “Buy Now.”
#6. Arrange Your Text
Format your website text in a way that is easy to read. Maintain a hierarchy for all your headings. For instance, the title text for each page should be bigger than all the other headings. Don’t confuse your users by randomly assigning different heading sizes in your text.
Proper punctuation is also crucial. A screen reader can only read out the text as you intend it to if you use proper punctuation. Without them, the user will have difficulties understanding what the text is trying to say.
For now, ensure that these things are on your website to make it more accessible. As you start working with specially-abled people in your design team, you can incorporate more accessibility standards.
Also, listen to user feedback as it can help you a lot to make your website more accessible and user-friendly.