As you aspire to create a beautiful, traffic-driving site with great social media tie-ins and a top search engine ranking, there’s one more thing to consider when making your website the best experience it can be for all your customers: Accessibility.
Like our non-digital lives, our digital lives need to be made user-friendly for not only the average visitor, but for those who may have difficulties reading and interacting with your site.
A properly and successfully designed site is one which ensures that all users are able to easily and enjoyably navigate through your site, and more importantly, keeps your audience from clicking away to find a more user-friendly site.
Companies with federal contracts or state/local organizations which receive federal funding must comply with 508 standards. By not taking accessibility into account, you may be cutting off your site to a great many people. Considering that your website is a vital part of your business, you want to make it as usable and accessible as possible.
Common accessibility issues include:
These are very common, from poor eyesight and color blindness to more significant visual impairments including full and partial blindness. There are also people who suffer from photosensitive epilepsy (PSE), a condition in which a certain visual stimuli, particularly flashing lights and certain patterns, can cause them to have seizures.
Auditory impairment, also known as hearing loss or hearing impairment, is a partial or a total inability to hear.
Physical and Mobility Impairments:
Mobility impairment is defined as a category of disability that includes people with varying types of physical disabilities. This type of impairment includes pain or difficulty in the use of hands and/or feet, loss of fine muscle control, arthritis, temporary or permanent bodily injury, hand tremors and diseases such as muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy and Parkinson’s disease, and many more.
Cognitive impairment is a description of an individual’s condition. It means that these individuals have trouble with things such as memory or paying attention. They might have trouble speaking or understanding. And they might have difficulty recognising people, places or things, and might find new places or situations overwhelming. There are a number of learning and developmental conditions that can make the use of a website difficult, including simple dyslexia.
Senior users may have two disadvantages when it comes to their ability to successfully navigating the web: their overall comfort level and the possibility that they may suffer from one or more of the conditions we have previously mentioned. They, too, may have additional age-related illnesses, such as stroke, which may also affect their web use.
As important as bringing visitors to your site is, it is equally important keeping them there. A simple inability to increase text size, for example, may make an individual search for a more accessible site. So keeping up with user experience best practices, including accessibility, will guarantee a productive and enjoyable experience that will keep your readers coming back.
Download our free eBook on Web Accessibility.