There is no doubt that digital products have revolutionized the world. In our lives we have seen that access to the Internet has been declared a human right.
We’re always just a few clicks away from seemingly endless information. We can do anything from paying our taxes and ordering groceries to interacting with our governments to completing an online degree. Even so, not all digital experiences are accessible.
While many consider people with disabilities to be a small subset of their users, this is a myth. Almost one in five Americans has a disability. 54% of Americans with disabilities go online. Fortunately, the world is beginning to realize that the web should be for everyone.
An accessible website is a website that is designed and coded by people with disabilities. It is important that designers think about accessibility when creating intuitive user interfaces and experiences.
Currently, only public sector websites are required to adhere to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0, which requires websites to have accessibility standards that are similar to those for the environment being built. In the next year and years to come, we will be putting pressure on the private sector to start compliance.
The Interaction Design Foundation explains that there are five key usability areas to consider: visual, motor / ability, auditory, seizures, and learning. There are people of all backgrounds who use your website or app and hope to find what they want as quickly and easily as anyone else would.
Here are some things to do to make your website more accessible.
Allow users to resize pages and content
Users see your product on different screens on many different devices. We enjoy creating experiences where users can resize content to suit their needs. Consider this scenario: a user enters information into a field and the page automatically zooms into the field. In this position, the user should be able to zoom out or in to ensure that they are taking action. Simply doing this creates a seamless experience.
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Make the search bar easy to find and use
As we discussed in our 2019 trend presentation for the Beer and UX meetup, a prominent, easy-to-use search bar is something that big brands make good use of.
A common goal of the user experience is to minimize the amount of effort the user takes to complete a task, e.g. For example, limit the number of clicks it takes to enter information in a search bar. For example, on the Tidal streaming platform, clicking the search icon will not only take you to the search page, it will also open the keyboard so you can type in your query.
Instead of two clicks – click the search icon, click the search bar – you are expected to want to search for information and the keyboard will open automatically.
Add alternative text to each image
The benefits of alt tags go beyond SEO. Alternate text makes your pictures easier for people with visual impairments to understand. This is especially important for pictures that are not purely decorative.
According to Moz, the alt text should be kept short. Since most screen readers cut off text by around 125 characters, it is advisable to keep it at or below this number. Instagram hit the headlines in 2018 when they finally rolled out an alternate text feature on their platform. Among other things, this step was an early signal that an accessible user interface is not a trend – it is standard.
Use section headings
Like a book or a street sign, digital products are expected to deliver information in a way that organizes, guides and guides the user to the next step.
Section headings such as subtitles on a blog or at the top of a page help users remember what they are reading. In a WebAIM survey, 67% of respondents said they prefer to navigate through the headings on the page. This finding is more important than using the Search feature, navigating the page’s links, and reading the entire page.
Use the color contrast
Perhaps an overlooked element, using the right color contrast for maximum readability, is key to better access to your user interface. There are times when you find that your text doesn’t have enough contrast with the background or your font size doesn’t complement the contrast. If you want to make color more accessible, use the resources below to know you’re getting it right. We love resources like Kevin Gutowski’s website, Web Aim, and Contrast App.
This takes into account users who are struggling to find menu items: knowing which tab they are over and understanding where they are on the site. One possible solution is to have the screen reader read that particular button aloud by reading the link text when a user hovers the mouse over the menu item on a page.
The user intuitively clicks on this element and is taken to a page of their choice. It is also recommended that you provide generous sizes for clickable areas that are no smaller than 44 x 44 pixels. Menu navigation is one of the most important on any website, regardless of the use case. Similar to using alternate text to add descriptions to images, link text can be useful for items related to the user’s navigation.