Web design

Have you thought about Web Accessibility and why it's really important to make sure your website is accessible to everyone, including people with disabilities?

Have you thought about Web Accessibility and why it’s really important to make sure your website is accessible to everyone, including people with disabilities?

It’s not just a matter of compliance, it’s about creating an inclusive online experience for all users.

What are some things we should consider when designing and developing your website to make it more accessible?

One thing we should do is follow the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). These guidelines provide a set of standards for making web content more accessible to people with disabilities.

We should also make sure to use appropriate color contrasts and text sizes, and to design a layout that is easy to navigate.

And we should be mindful of using alt text and other techniques to make images and multimedia accessible.

Also make sure to test and evaluate your website for accessibility, and to use assistive technologies like screen readers to test it.

Be aware of legal considerations and best practices for accessibility, too.

By following these guidelines and best practices, you can ensure that your website is accessible and inclusive for all users.

The importance of accessibility for people with disabilities

Accessibility is important for people with disabilities because it allows them to access and use websites, apps, and other digital products in the same way as everyone else.

Without accessibility, people with disabilities may not be able to fully participate in online activities or access the same information and resources as others.

This can create barriers and limitations that can impact their ability to fully engage with the digital world.

Ensuring that digital products are accessible can help to break down these barriers and make the internet more inclusive and accessible for everyone.

This is particularly important as more and more of our daily activities and interactions move online.

By designing and developing accessible digital products, organisations and individuals can ensure that everyone has the opportunity to fully participate in and benefit from the digital world.

Additionally, accessibility is not just a matter of inclusion, but also a matter of compliance with laws and regulations, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in the United States.

By making sure that their digital products are accessible, organizations can also avoid the risk of legal action and potential fines.

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) and how to meet them

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) are a set of technical guidelines developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) to help make web content more accessible to people with disabilities.

WCAG consists of a series of guidelines and success criteria that provide a range of recommendations for making web content more accessible to users with disabilities, including visual, auditory, physical, speech, cognitive, and neurological impairments.

There are three levels of conformance to WCAG: Level A, Level AA, and Level AAA.

Level A is the most basic level of conformance, while Level AAA is the most stringent.

Organisations can choose which level of conformance they want to aim for based on their needs and resources.

To meet WCAG, organizations and individuals need to ensure that their web content meets the relevant success criteria.

Some examples of success criteria include providing text alternatives for non-text content, making sure that text is legible and easy to read, providing clear and consistent navigation, and ensuring that web content is compatible with assistive technologies, such as screen readers.

There are many tools and resources available to help organisations and individuals meet WCAG, including automated testing tools, manual testing tools, and guidelines and best practices for designing and developing accessible web content.

By following WCAG and making sure that their web content is accessible, organizations and individuals can create a more inclusive and equitable online environment for all users.

Designing for accessibility, including color contrast, text size, and layout

Designing for accessibility involves creating digital products that are usable and accessible to users with a wide range of abilities and disabilities.

This includes considering factors such as color contrast, text size, and layout when designing websites, apps, and other digital products.

Colour contrast is an important aspect of accessibility because it helps to ensure that text and other content is visible and legible for users with visual impairments.

Webflow is a Web Builder tool that has in-built Accessibility Auditing tools

WCAG recommends a minimum contrast ratio of 4.5:1 for normal text and 3:1 for large text (18 point or 14 point bold).

Text size is another important consideration for accessibility. Large text is easier to read, particularly for users with visual impairments or low vision.

WCAG recommends using a minimum text size of 16 pixels, or making sure that text can be resized up to 200% without loss of content or functionality.

Layout is also an important aspect of accessibility. A clear and consistent layout can help users with disabilities, such as cognitive impairments or low vision, to more easily navigate and use a website or app.

This can involve using clear headings, using whitespace to break up content, and using clear and descriptive link text.

Overall, designing for accessibility involves considering the needs of users with disabilities and creating digital products that are usable and accessible to them.

By considering factors such as color contrast, text size, and layout, organizations and individuals can create more inclusive and accessible online experiences.

Using alt text and other techniques to make images and multimedia accessible

Alt text (alternative text) is a technique used to make images and other non-text content more accessible to users with disabilities, particularly those who rely on screen readers or other assistive technologies.

Alt text is a short text description of an image or other non-text content that is displayed when the content cannot be displayed or is not available to the user.

Alt text is important because it allows screen readers and other assistive technologies to convey the content and purpose of an image or other non-text content to users who may not be able to see it.

Webflow can also help you audit Missing Alt Text on images.

Alt text can also be used to provide additional context or information about an image to users who are able to see it.

There are a few best practices for using alt text:

  • Keep it short and concise: Alt text should be brief and to the point, ideally no more than a few words.
  • Describe the content and purpose of the image: Alt text should accurately describe the content and purpose of the image, not just its appearance.
  • Don’t use “image of” or “graphic of”: Alt text should describe the content of the image, not the fact that it is an image.
  • Use null alt text for decorative images: If an image is purely decorative and does not convey any information, it can be given null alt text (alt=””). This tells screen readers to ignore the image.

In addition to using alt text, there are other techniques that can be used to make images and multimedia content more accessible, such as providing transcripts or captions for audio and video content, and using descriptive titles and labels for charts and graphs.

By using these techniques and making sure that images and multimedia content is accessible, organisations and individuals can create more inclusive and accessible online experiences.


Creative software to help you create more accessible experiences

  • Figma — Figma connects everyone in the design process so teams can deliver better products, faster.
  • Miro — The online collaborative whiteboard platform to bring teams together, anytime, anywhere.
  • Canva — Canva makes it easy to create professional designs and to share or print them.
  • LucidChart — Lucidchart is the intelligent diagramming application that brings teams together to make better decisions and build the future.
  • Webflow — Build your site for free and take as long as you need.
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