When developing a website, these aspects, content, color, theme, hosting, visuals, and SEO, are critically important. However, an essential factor that is often overlooked is website accessibility.

Website accessibility is perhaps the most crucial of all designing elements. It can improve or hinder your online success or visibility. Features to improve your site are listed here https://siteimprove.com/  and highlighted below.

1. Website Accessibility Is Vital For Website Success

When we talk about accessibility, it refers to how the different services, product designs, devices, and virtual environment is accessible to individuals. It includes people with disabilities, mostly those who have compromised vision.

As a designer, designing or developing websites for all is easy and simple and is usually a part of the daily routine work. But creating a website for people with disabilities is something developers rarely consider.

Millions of Americans have some form of a disability with nearly8.2% experiencing vision problems. As such, screen magnifiers and screen readers cannot be the sole solution. In fact, 70% of reviewed websites did not adhere to the website accessibility guidelines. This leads to depriving disabled people from accessing vital information on the web; and unintentionally jeopardizing your brand image as a result of inaccessibility by a particular section of people.

2. How To Ensure Website Accessibility?

  • Use Title Tags

The words that you use within the tag must indicate the accessibility terms. You cannot see the HTML title tags on the browser. You must also place or select the tag even from the SEO point of view. As such, you must ensure the descriptive title is relevant.

  • Use Default HTML tags

Use simple buttons if you rather than anchors as buttons. One of the main benefits of keeping default tags is that it helps screen readers. Screen readers read the various elements of a web page in a specific manner. 

  • Use subtitles

Including subtitles, even for videos, helps search engines in identifying the content of the videos. You can follow the same principle for audio and podcast elements. Using subtitles also helps with ranking.

  • Use User-friendly navigation

Accessibility becomes easier and simpler if you focus mainly on the keyboard for navigation and avoid using animated cursors or buttons since animated dropdown are challenging to use with screen readers.

3. Guidelines For Website Accessibility

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines or WCAG encompasses a set of guidelines or norms that you must comply with to ensure better user experience and accessibility for all visitors. These are recognized worldwide and set the benchmark for all standards. Previously, the WCAG 1.0 divided the rules into the following 3 levels:

  • Priority 1- Basic level of web accessibility
  • Priority 2- To cater to the needs of individuals with disabilities
  • Priority 3- Enhancements and improvements in web accessibility

However, WCAG 2.0, which came into effect in the year 2008, is currently used and is expected t o continue guiding the requirements related to web accessibility as follows. (Remember, the current sets of guidelines are not “technologically-oriented” but technologically “neutral.”)

  • Perceivable
  • Operable
  • Understandable
  • Robust

In other words, POUR is the essence. Following these principles allows you to understand the behavior of your visitors better.

  • Perceivable 

It includes the different senses that your visitors are using while browsing your website. Assistive technology is of immense help since not all visitors will have abilities for all senses.These guidelines help enhance the sense of touch, sound, and sight.

  • Operable

What are the various actions that your visitors take while browsing your website? To ensure a smooth experience, opt for keyboard-only navigation and screen reader-friendly design. Also, provide unlimited time for filling forms.It will This will provide sufficient time to complete forms accurately.

  • Understandable 

The terms you use on the website must be clear, written in simple words, and well explained or narrated.

  • Robust

Your website is said to be robust if the third-party vendors that are collaborating with you can depend on you. Using clear and clean CSS and HTML helps go a long way in making your website accessible. 

In a nutshell, to ensure website accessibility, a designer employs WCAG 2 guidelines and other accessibility tools when applicable.

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