If you have physical premises for your business, you have likely made them accessible to customers with disabilities. But what about your website? This is something that many people overlook, but it can make a real difference to the way your business communicates with customers online. We recently designed an accessible website for Lightbulb, a housing project by Blaby District Council. In this blog, we will cover some key areas for accessible website design.
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines
So, how can you ensure your website is optimised for users with disabilities? There is a list of guidelines provided by Web Accessibility Initiative. They update it regularly and offer detailed requirements for web content developers and other professionals. Having these guidelines makes for a more uniform understanding of what accessible website design should look like.
Who is it for?
All government websites and public bodies are required to follow web content accessibility guidelines by law. While this is not applicable to commercial businesses, accessible website design is a great practice for your company. We also think that it may become a requirement for more businesses in the future. And we would certainly recommend considering it in your design process and look at how you can optimise your website for people with disabilities. You wouldn’t think twice about putting a wheelchair ramp up to your shop, so why not do the same for your website? After all, it is a digital representation of your business.
Creating accessible website design
Making your website content accessible largely entails creating different options for the same content. This allows everyone to engage with it. Providing alt-text captions and image descriptions, captions for your videos, transcripts for audio content such as podcasts and so on will make a difference. Your website should also be tagged to use with voice-control systems, and it should be accessible through mouse and keyboard. It’s very important that you use other ways of differentiating between items other than colour, since this may not work for people with sight issues. Your potential users should also be able to skip navigation. There are many more details to consider, however, this is just an overview of some of the functionality your accessible website design should have.
Why is this important for your business?
By prioritising your web content accessibility, you are opening up your website to a wider potential audience that may have otherwise been unable to explore your site. Not only will you benefit the site users, but you also have the potential to attract more customers to your business. There is evidence to show increased audience reach, improved search results and more. Plus, by making your website multi-interactive, you are also improving user experience for everyone. They will now have more ways to engage with your content.
Is your website accessible? Do you think more businesses will be legally required to have accessible website design in the future? Drop us a comment below if you have any questions or thoughts you’d like to share! Get in touch with us if you’d like more info.