Should you address user accessibility on your website? The answer is simple: Yes.
Why? No. 1, 18% of U.S. population has some type of disability, and these people should have access to websites just like anyone else. The web is fundamentally designed to work for all people, no matter their software, language, location or ability. Websites can be designed and coded to allow this.
Also, people will not stop aging, meaning the number of users with disabilities is only going to increase. By not making your website as accessible as possible to people with a diverse range of hearing, sight, movement and cognitive ability, you are losing out on potential customers and sales conversions.
Related Read: What is Website Accessibility?
Accessibility Considerations Are a Growing Legal Concern
The web development team at Marketing Essentials recently attended ‘An Event Apart’ web design conference in Chicago where the hot topics were the importance of addressing user accessibility, legal compliance and why you should have an “always-inclusive” approach when creating web content.
Lawsuits related to web compliance have been on an upward trend the last few years and aren’t looking to slow down anytime soon. Comparing Quarter 1 of 2019 to the previous year, web compliance lawsuits have increased by 31%.
Where Do I Start?
A great place to start is by checking out A11Y Project Website. On this website, they regularly post tips on addressing accessibility, as well as disproving myths around the topic. They also provide links to resources that can check your website to see if there are any accessibility issues you should address.
The most comprehensive way to address accessibility with your website is with the assistance of software that can audit your website and give you a checklist of issues to fix. Monsido is a great platform that will scan your site, give you a list of issues and examples and provide the steps to take.
The Most Common Accessibility Issues on Websites
The ratio between colored elements and text can make the content unreadable for some users who are visually impaired.
Alt Text on Images
Alt Text on images allows screen readers to discern what is being shown in the image, so they can verbally dictate to users who can not see.
Missing ARIA Labels
Aria labels provide descriptive text that allow users to distinguish links on web pages that lead to other destinations. This assists users who can’t see the links.
Best practice is for web fonts to be no lower than 16px.
Any element that transactions, flashes or has motion can cause epileptic seizures if the appropriate guidelines are not followed.
How Do I Make My Site Compliant?
Start with a compliance audit using a tool such as the Monsido one noted above or consult with an expert to conduct the audit, make recommendations and implement the needed fixes.
At Marketing Essentials, we are a digital marketing agency that specializes in website auditing, designing, developing and optimizing to meet the latest standards. We can help ensure your site is meeting its full potential.