Accessibility is a very basic need in web design that gets overlooked by most designers now-a-days. Accessibility should be the underlying framework for your website design or redesign.
To get an idea of the importance of accessibility in website design we needn’t look that far. Consider that, in England, it has been deemed ILLEGAL to operate a website that does not conform to the accessibility guidelines set out by the Disability Rights Commission.
Simple things can be done to conform to the accessibility guidelines laid out by the world wide web consortium.
- Design your websites using DIV tags instead of tables. It is easier to layout the information in a navigable form when using this method of layout. It is also easier when using templates to change or modify the site in the future without an extraneous amount of work.
- All images should have alternative text tags (alt tags) weather it is a description of the image itself, or a pound sign (#) to symbolize a null character that will be skipped by a text reader.
- Variable font sizes to allow for user based resizing.
- A skip navigation button at the beginning of your website so the user doesn’t have to go through the navigation at the beginning of each page before reaching the content.
- Have multiple style sheets for your website for different versions of media (ie screen and print).
- Links should be descriptive. Use human language words for links instead of a “click here” link. (ie for more information on disability view our disability guidelines as opposed to for more information on disability click here.)
I hope these few tips help you in understanding that accessibility is not an unsurmountable feat when it comes to designing a website that meets specific guidelines made to make the internet accessible regardless of the users ability.
To get a website designed by us, please contact us.