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Why You Should Make Your Website Accessible – Website Design 101

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The harsh truth about rising consumer demands is that failing to meet them can lead to catastrophic results, especially when it comes to running a website in a competition-intensive industry. While there may be several factors to consider when running a website tailored toward consumer demands, one must avoid catering to all of them right away. Although most people tend to fixate on website design and search engine optimization (SEO) to turn their websites into high-performing assets, they tend to overlook website accessibility. 

As tempting as it may be to go for a website redesign and a backlink extravaganza at the same time, it’s vital to focus on the fundamental aspects that comprise your website. Among all the different website fundamentals to work on, website accessibility should go first. After all, what good is a website if your audience can’t access it? 

Many people tend to think about content and graphics when trying to dissect the experience that users have on their website. However, the first thing that users run into when using a website is its accessibility, which goes to show how important it is when trying to run a website.

 

Defining accessibility 

First things first, accessibility doesn’t refer to whether or not a website can load on a user’s screen. Technically speaking, accessibility regarding websites pertains to the design of devices, products, services, and environments for those with varied types of disabilities. In a nutshell, having a platform or website with accessibility means that those with disabilities can use it.

As opposed to creating stunning visuals and fancy fixtures on a website’s design, designing for accessibility takes in more concepts than one can imagine. The art of making something accessible holds complications because the idea of “access” covers hundreds of different aspects. 

 

Creating accessible content made easy

Thankfully, accessible design is easy to attain as long as you know what steps to consider and what elements to employ into the final product. Here’s what you need to know when it comes to creating accessible content: 

 

Taking note of the color that you use

One of the most common disabilities or visual impediments that a certain percentage of your website’s visitors struggle with is colorblindness. With roughly 4.5 percent of the population afflicted with color blindness, it is vital to take your choice of colors seriously. These are the three types of color blindness that you should be aware of:

 

  • total color blindness
  • two-color vision
  • deficient color vision (which has varying degrees of severity)

 

A pro-tip to use: Learn how to design your work with and without color, because your users with color blindness can’t distinguish the fancy color schemes you use. It is useless to have your work rely on color for its appeal when incorporating accessibility into the entire design. If you’re required to add texture, you can make things interesting for everyone who has access to the website by using pattern and texture to establish higher contrast. Additionally, you may want to take a look at the accessibility color wheel to make sure that your choices are disability-friendly in all regards. 

 

Testing as often as you can

Most website designs and content fail to be accessible for those with disabilities because their creators miss out on testing as extensively as possible. Conducting repeated tests helps with ensuring that your site is providing the best experience possible for every user that accesses it. A proper testing phase consists of three main areas to consider: 

 

  • Compliance testing
  • User testing
  • Testing against best practices

 

The testing phase also includes the need to conduct additional research to discover what other approaches you can take to make your design more accessible. There are countless articles on the web that offer themselves as viable references, so make sure to do a quick search on relevant sources you can use. Additionally, effective testing merits a thorough auditing process that is executable with the help of an accessibility checklist and a few accessibility developer tools. 

Incorporating accessibility into your website’s design and content is one way to help give your site a much-needed boost in various aspects. From a user experience (UX) to SEO, an accessible design allows your website to sit favorably in the eyes of those who use it. Accessible design must be continuously kept in mind throughout the design process to boost your website’s usability with ease. 

If you’re looking for a website design service in Charlotte, get in touch with us today to see how we can help!

Rachel Woods

Rachel Woods

Rachel Woods is an award winning website developer with over 25 years of graphic design & website design/development experience. While design is one of her passions, she enjoys teaching entrepreneurs how to get more clients using mindset techniques and principles.

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