Improving Your Website’s Accessibility
When you create a website, you want it to be viewed by as many people as possible. However, people that build websites often don’t take the needs of viewers requiring accessibility into consideration. You want to factor their needs into the design of your site. By understanding what can cause a site to be hard to use by some people, you can build your page without these issues and ensure it’s welcome to all visitors. Here are some ways to improve the accessibility of your website.
Include Alt Text
If your site has images, adding alt text can serve as a way to help readers understand the message the graphics are conveying. This can be most beneficial for infographics or other images that provide detailed information. For alt text, you want to ensure that it best conveys the message you wanted the image to send. If the image includes text, that should be included as well.
Use Best Practices for Color
You may not think of the color scheme of your site as a key factor of accessibility. However, color deficiency is an element that should be considered. Approximately 8% of the population have a red-green color deficiency, which is the most common type. If your site uses these colors exclusively, it can lead to those people being unable to properly view your site. Conversely, people with other disabilities can better distinguish your site’s content when color is used. You can meet the needs of both groups by using the best available color schemes, as well as adding other visual indicators such as question marks.
Make Your Site Keyboard-Friendly
One of the most important methods for accessibility is ensuring that your site can be navigated via both a mouse and a keyboard. Many assistive technologies use navigation that is keyword-only. This makes it key to have your site’s features, including pages, links, and content, be reached using a keyboard. Using the tab key is the most common way to jump from section to section. You can test your site’s accessibility by using it without your mouse. If there are parts you can’t reach, you can address it and make any necessary adjustments.
Revise Your Forms
Adding forms can be a great addition to many websites. However, how they are designed should be taken into consideration. If a form’s fields are not labeled correctly, a visitor using a screen reader doesn’t have the same cues to fill in compared to sighted users. Make sure that each form field provides a clear indication of what is needed from a user. In addition, if there are fields that are similar or related, you can group them into individual fieldsets, which can help users keep track of progress.
Accessibility plays an important role in the building of a website. You want your content viewable by as many people as possible. By knowing how to improve accessibility for people that may have issues, you ensure that visitors are able to easily view your website.