This post is pulled from Will’s agency, AGENZ.
Website design is no child’s play. That being said, you need to consider many different aspects of functionality and usability and your target audience’s interests and behavior. A massive part of designing a great website is making it ADA or Americans with Disabilities Act compliant. In this post, we will dive into understanding how a business website design can be shaped to make it more accessible to a wide range of people, including those who suffer from motor, auditory, visual, or speech disabilities.
Color contrast is a huge web accessibility problem, especially for people who suffer from low vision or are colorblind. The contrast ratio can be anywhere between 4.5 to 1. If you have bigger fonts on your website, you can go ahead with a lower contrast ratio. If you are looking for external tools that can help you make a quick contrast check for your website, you should check out Contrast App or even use the WebAIM color contrast checker. There are different conformance levels like A, AA, AAA that can help you identify the contrast level on your website.
Most browsers use a CSS pseudo-class to make outlines visible whenever an element on the website is selected. Most website designers find them annoying and ugly. But, tweaking the indicators a little will help eliminate the default style and replace it with a better focus indicator. The ADA guidelines make it necessary to use focus indicators because it allows screen readers to read out the content on your website to people with disabilities. Ensure focus indicators integration with elements like links, widgets, menu items, and buttons. These focus indicators can be styled to match the theme of your website and can be used to improve brand recognition.
ALT text or alternative text is the piece of content you write for your website’s images. You can either add the ALT text in the <alt> attribute of your images or add it within the surrounding of the image. The best ALT texts are the ones that describe precisely what’s happening in the image. It tells the user how it is relevant to the story and provides a better context to the entire webpage.
If you want your website pages to be well understood by people with disabilities, you will have to ensure that all the HTML tags are well-defined. Ensure all the essential headings and titles of the page stand out from the rest of the content. The screen readers use the title and heading tags to understand the content hierarchy better. Not just that, it also allows the people with low vision to skim through the content using important headings and get an overview of the page. The meta tags are an essential component of the accessibility tree and are what make the screen readers function correctly.
People who don’t have precise muscle control or lack motor abilities are usually dependent on a keyboard to navigate the Internet. For instance, the TAB key allows you to toggle the cursor from one element to another on the website. This focus can be tracked if the designers have enabled visual indicators on the website. So, keyboard navigation can be made more logical and intuitive for visitors. This can be done by following the visual flow of the page.
So, what do you think? Will these tips help you develop an ADA-compliant website design? We think they will. However, creating a highly successful website needs one to consider many other important factors. So, don’t forget to check out these informative posts on our blog!