Designing for Accessibility: Ensuring Everyone Has a Great UX

Designing for Accessibility: Ensuring Everyone Has a Great UX

As a web designer, it's important to create websites that are accessible to everyone. This means ensuring that people with disabilities can easily navigate and use your website. In this article, we'll explore some tips and best practices for designing for accessibility.

1. Design for Screen Readers

Screen readers are used by people who are blind or have low vision to access websites. Make sure that your website is designed to be easily read by screen readers. Use descriptive alt tags for images, headings to structure the content, and descriptive link text. Also, make sure that your website is compatible with popular screen readers like JAWS and NVDA.

2. Design for Keyboard Navigation

Not everyone can use a mouse to navigate your website. Make sure that users can easily navigate your website using a keyboard. This means ensuring that the tab order makes sense, that the user can easily access all clickable elements using the keyboard, and that the website is free of keyboard traps.

3. Use High Contrast Colors

People with visual impairments may have trouble seeing low contrast colors. Ensure your website has sufficient contrast between colors so that everyone can easily read the content. Use high contrast colors for text, links, and buttons.

4. Provide Alternative Content

Provide alternative text or captions for any videos or audio on your website. This means that people who are deaf or hard of hearing can fully understand the content. Also, provide alternative versions of content that are inaccessible to some, such as PDFs or Flash animations.

5. Design for Text Resizing

Some people have difficulties reading small text and may need to adjust the size of the text to make it more readable. Design your website with this in mind by using relative font sizes. People should be able to resize the text without it breaking the layout of the website.

6. Use Simple Language

People with cognitive disabilities may have difficulty understanding complex language. Use plain language and avoid using jargon or complicated terminology. Also, keep your sentences and paragraphs short, and use bullet points or lists to break up the content.

7. Test for Accessibility

The best way to ensure that your website is accessible is to test it. Use accessibility testing tools like WAVE or AChecker to check your website for accessibility errors. Test your website with real users who have disabilities and solicits feedback from them on how to improve the website.

By designing for accessibility, you'll create a website that is easy to navigate and use for everyone, regardless of their abilities. Not only is this the right thing to do, but it can also improve your website's search engine rankings, as search engines like Google favor websites that are accessible. So, ensure that everyone has a great UX by designing for accessibility.