The global market of people with disabilities is over 1 billion. Although accessibility awareness is on the rise and many companies are making good progress, there is still plenty of room for improvement. Even if you have clear vision, hearing, movement, or cognitive abilities, it’s important to consider the different needs of users. Bias can limit the ability to build websites that work better for everyone.
According to the curb cut effect, designing for accessibility delivers benefits for all. Here are five tips to help you increase your website’s accessibility and build a better web for everyone.
- Help users navigate your site with clear layouts: It’s important to provide sufficient font sizes and colour contrast. In doing so, you’ll also make screen viewing easier for other mobile users, who may struggle to read small or illegible fonts when they’re on the go.
- Use language and structure that’s intuitive and concise: Clear headings and layout go a long way towards helping users understand the hierarchy of content and where they are on the page. In turn, this also benefits your SEO efforts by helping search engines understand what’s important.
- Offer easy data entry to accommodate more users: All users benefit from minimising the need to type or enter text search terms. Voice input is an example of a feature developed for accessibility needs that’s been rolled out for the wider public.
- Be mindful of slow networks by designing pages that load fast: An important accessibility concern for global audiences is around slow and unstable network connections. With mobile more prevalent than desktop in many regions, low bandwidth creates a challenge for users in accessing data.
- Support assistive technologies specific to your platform: Just as you support the input methods of touch, keyboard, and mouse, making use of assistive technology helps increase, maintain, or improve the capabilities of individuals with disabilities. Examples of assistive technologies include screen readers, magnification devices, and hearing aids.