Thanks to COVID-19, Website Accessibility Has Never Been More Important
The Internet is a global and widespread phenomenon that affects all aspects of our lives. Can you imagine a world without the Internet?
The network unites people around the globe, helps us to receive news and information, store documents, plan travel routes and even maintain our health. However, not all sites care about the accessibility of their content.
There are many sites inaccessible to older people or people with disabilities. Let’s talk about the accessibility of web content, why it is so important, especially now, during the pandemic of coronavirus, when a lot of us are at home and rely on news and information on the web.
What Does Website Accessibility Mean?
About 15% of people on Earth have certain defects in hearing, vision, movement, or cognitive abilities. Access to information for such people is included in the list of human rights, but some websites are not available to them. To ensure a certain level of accessibility, the site must be properly designed and coded.
The Relevance of Web Accessibility
When creating a truly high-quality site, the question of its availability for all categories of users, regardless of their physical capabilities and limitations, should be one of the priority tasks. The concept of accessibility treats all people as equal members of society under all conditions.
As a rule, the mention of accessibility among most developers is annoying, since it is believed that this aspect of creating a product arises only in the context of some special attitude towards people with disabilities and is perceived by them in the halo of social dependency. Therefore, often the project has no such properties or there is only formal support for them. However, this is fundamentally not a correct understanding of the issue.
A smooth transition of color can look really beautiful and elegant, but there are people who do not see well enough or have difficulty with color perception. Using very contrasting colors (such as black and white, yellow and black, red and white) can also look great and will also be convenient for people with difficulties.
With the appearance of Siri, Alexa, and other similar gadgets, voice control is becoming increasingly popular. And there are people who for some reason cannot use their hands. However, all of them will be able to manage the site by voice only if the website allows it.
Visually impaired or completely blind people use specialised software that translates text into speech. However, this software will not be able to determine what is in the image if you do not enter the text as the alt tags.
Website Layout and Design
The sophisticated and original design can impress the visitor, but it can also confuse him. If your users don’t understand what they should do on your site, then you definitely did something wrong. In this case, the easier your navigation on the site is, the better.
Some site owners do not consider it necessary to notify people of the actions they perform on the site. But when you fill out a form and then it disappears without any confirmation, this can be a pretty nasty surprise. The same can be with error notifications. Don’t you hate “Invalid data” messages? When the error message clearly says what you did wrong and how to fix it, everyone can save a lot of time and nerves.
Small buttons and interactive elements are only good if you want your visitors to never click on them. PC’s users with normal manoeuvrability will be able to click on them, but those who come to your site from a tablet or smartphone or older people with usually reduced dexterity may have problems aiming at a small button. Make sure that the most important buttons (like Buy Now) on your site are large enough.
Different people have different needs. Some people prefer to reduce the text and look at the large picture, others will not be able to read the text if the letters are too small. If you provide some controls for content settings to your users, this will definitely improve the UX of your site.
Not everyone can use the mouse. You may think that managing and moving around the site is an extremely simple task, but there are people who have problems with coordination and can only use the keyboard. If your site is ready to be controlled via the keyboard, you will make it easier for many people. We’re confident your customers will be impressed.
A great way of information transfer is video conferencing. It can help a lot of people who have difficulty with reading or attending conferences. Especially nowadays, when a lot of people must stay at home, because of Covid-19.
Deaf and people who have problems with hearing also want to watch videos, but they cannot do it if the video is not accompanied by subtitles. Adding text to a video isn’t so difficult, so think about it.
Increasing the accessibility of website content will bring you more profit and make it easier for people to use it. If you want a visitor to become your client, give him the opportunity to interact with your site. It’s not a lot of work and you can only benefit from it.