How to Make a Website Accessible to Everyone

« Back to all Articles Menu Adapta Interactive

A lot of people pay attention to their web design and layout, but neglect the accessibility of their site. What they end up with is an attractive-looking site that’s unfortunately inaccessible to many people, for one reason or another. Let’s take a look at some examples:

  • Beautiful images without alt-tags, making it hard for blind users to understand what an ecommerce website has to offer.
  • Complicated menu navigation, making it hard for someone with assistive technologies to find the information they need.
  • Videos without closed captions, making it difficult or impossible for deaf users to get the information they need from media.

Addressing these basic issues is part of understanding how to make a website accessible to everyone. Once you learn to separate design and layout from accessibility—as well as marry the two—you’ll be well on your way to making a website that anyone can use with simplicity.

Instant accessibility improvements

No matter how your site looks, there are several instant upgrades you can make to ensure you’re making a website accessible to everyone:

  • Add all relevant tags and markers (alt-image, meta tags, HTML tags, etc.)
  • Use real text, rather than in-graphic text, with universal web fonts
  • Provide closed captions or transcripts of videos
  • Offer page or text resizing options

All of these simple additions can be made without changing the design or layout of your website at all. They’re also the cornerstone of making your website more accessible to everyone—particularly those with vision or hearing impairments.

Fundamental accessibility improvements

To really ensure your website is accessible for everyone, you’ll need to run it through stringent testing against Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). These guidelines have been put together with all types of accessibility demands in mind, including:

  • Considerations for deaf or hard-of-hearing individuals
  • Standards for blind users or those with vision impairments
  • Benchmarks for users browsing on assistive devices
  • Considerations for those with cognitive disabilities

By considering the gamut of accessibility concerns, WCAG helps web designers make the right accessibility considerations as they focus on design and layout. The result is a marriage of beautiful design and accessibility features that accommodate all users.

Build with users in mind: UI vs. UX

Many web designers and developers structure websites with user interface (UI) in mind. When it comes to accessibility, equal emphasis must also be given to user experience (UX). UX puts human interaction first, while UI ensures the presentation of a site is engaging and enjoyable. Both are equally important and should be used together.

If your website is lacking accessibility or has limitations for those with disabilities or impairments, it’s important to pay mind to UX when you’re updating your site. Remember, a beautiful site that’s hard to use is no better than a lackluster-looking one. Design with people in mind first, then build your design around accessibility to make a website accessible to everyone!

Contact Form

Click to refresh image