What is Accessibility in Web Design
It can be hard not to think of the web as a great equalizer. One that has granted unparalleled access to a treasure trove of information and connections to all logs on. Imagine, If you can that you can’t use a keyboard on the mouse to navigate. Now turn off your screen and try to get to a new website. These are the challenges the visually impaired and individuals with severe tremors or paralysis face when it comes to accessing the web in a way most of us take for granted. From that perspective, the world wide web doesn’t seem, so free and accessible. That’s why web accessibility should be at the forefront of any choices we make when designing and developing a website. Let’s see what is accessibility in web design.
What is Accessibility?
Accessibility is about breaking down barriers that prevent visitors from interacting with the content of a website. There are moral, ethical, and legal reasons to make websites more accessible. No matter the reason, you can accomplish this by following defined guidelines when coding a site. In many cases, a few characters or words of code in the right place will do the trick.
There are three levels of measuring accessibility.
- Bare minimum
- The target level for many businesses.
- Typically reserved for special dedicated software.
The guides are organized around four principles:
- Perceivable: Information and user-interface components must be perceivable to users in ways they can perceive. This includes standards such as providing text alternatives for non-text content.
- Operable: User interface components and navigation must be operable. For example, all functionality must be available from the keyboard.
- Understandable: Information and the operation of the user interface must be understandable. For example, a requirement to identify the primary language of the page like English.
- Robust: Content must be robust enough that it can be interpreted reliably by a wide variety of user agents. Including assistive technologies, which means being certain to use valid markup.
Conforming with level A brings basic compliance to your site. With each level, you step up the more accessible your site becomes. Hitting the basics of web accessibility is relatively easy. Although it becomes more complex when you dive deeper into issues and solutions. Even if you can’t get full WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) 2.1 compliance right away. There is still plenty you can do to make a website more accessible.
Like, help screen readers identify the primary language used in the document which you can do in HTML. Every page title should adequately and briefly describe the content of the page. Meaning each page has a unique title. This distinguishes it from other pages. Make sure all images include equivalent alternative text. So, for example, the pick of your company headquarters would be defined.
Without the alt text, the image doesn’t exist for visually impaired visitor search engines or people who have turned off images.