Accessible design is how easily people can use your website. it is the concept of whether a product or service can be used by everyone—however they encounter it. it is sometimes confused with usability, but unlike usability, accessibility focuses on people with disabilities. It is basically ensuring that there are no barriers that prevent interaction with, or access to, websites on the World Wide Web by people with physical disabilities, situational disabilities, and socio-economic restrictions on bandwidth and speed.
Design for Everyone
accessible websites design for everyone, they are sites that use best practices they realise when you design for all ability levels, you can create products and services anyone can use and enjoy—or at least find helpful or calming.
Types of Accessibility Issues
The needs that web accessibility aims to address include a wide range of equal access priorities, the possibilities are virtually limitless regarding who might be trying to access your product/service but here is an inclusive list.
- Visual (e.g., color blindness)
- Motor/mobility (e.g., wheelchair-user concerns)
- Auditory (hearing difficulties)
- Seizures (especially photosensitive epilepsy)
- Learning/cognitive (e.g., dyslexia)
Ability barriers can also arise for any user:
- Incidental (e.g., sleep-deprivation)
- Environmental (e.g., using a mobile device underground)
Why should you care : designers, strive to create equal opportunities websites that are easy to navigate and easy to understand for everyone. If you find yourself squinting to read small text on a site, for example, chances are a visually impaired person wouldn’t be able to read it at all. It’s easy to think of accessibility as a ‘nice to have’ when designing, but this is counterproductive to creating a site with great UX.
Quick win accessibility guidelines : To address the concern for accessible website design, the World Wide Web Consortium developed a series of accessibility standards. This document, known as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, (WCAG) breaks down accessibility into 4 main principles. To understand these principles, ask yourself a series of questions when designing:
- Perceivable: Can I consume content on my site in different ways? (Having closed captions for a video, for example)
- Operable: Can the site function without confusion and without the use of a mouse or complex interactions?
- Understandable: Can a user understand how the user interface of the site functions and the information on the site?
- Robust: Can different assistive devices (screen readers, for example) understand the website?
Here are 6 tips that will help you create accessible designs that meet the minimum standards of Section 508 and Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0. If you have a project that needs a special focus around accessibility or assistive technologies please contact us for a no obligation chat.