The Internet isn’t always “one size fits all.” Every day, inaccessible web design prevents billions of people in the disabled community from an easy online experience.
For those with visual impairments, learning difficulties, hearing loss and more, there are dozens of unique challenges waiting behind every URL. But building a disability-friendly site is a lot simpler than you might think.
Laurence Berry, a designer for UK-based design and tech organization FutureGov , says the easiest way to build user-friendly sites is to figure out their key obstacles.
Approximately one billion people in the world live with disabilities, according to the UN. That’s a sizable chunk indeed.
With that in mind, there are plenty of ways to make sure you’re doing your best to create an accessible site. Here are a few simple, practical tips to implement when creating a disability-friendly site.
1. Use alt tags.
When you hover your mouse over an image on a website, the little words that pop up are called alt tags. For someone who has a visual impairment and uses a screen reader, the alt tags are read aloud, and are the only way a user knows what the image is.
Take alt tags seriously and use them as an opportunity to describe the image accurately and succinctly. If it’s a picture of a person, write out the person’s name. If it’s an object, use a couple of words to describe it.
2. Create subtitles and transcripts.
If your web content regularly includes videos, try to provide subtitles — especially if you’re producing the bulk of your own video content.
Making a transcription of the video available online is also an incredibly helpful resource for users.
3. Put periods in abbreviations.
If you’re abbreviating something in HTML, put periods in between each letter.
4. Describe your links.
When embedding a link in a post, it’s more useful to describe the link, rather than just telling the reader to “click here.”
Whenever possible, underline your links or make sure that there is a color contrast between hyperlinked text and regular text. That way, colorblind users will able to find a link immediately without having to hover over it with their cursors.
5. Utilize color control.
Practicing smart color choices is useful for a website with any kind of audience. Avoid pairing garish colors, and be wary of using yellow, blue and green close to one another. Black text on a white background is the best general practice, because it’s readable for most audiences.
6. Get clickable.
For users with mobility problems, it can be difficult to click on small items within a tiny clickable range. Give the clickable item a wider range so the user can click on it within the item’s general area.
7. Keep your copy simple.
If you’re putting a lot of text onto your website, break it into smaller paragraphs. Use simple, straightforward language in the active voice.
8. Include an accessibility guide.
If you’ve done your best to make your site disability-friendly, include a section that lays out all of the ways your site is accessible. Alternatively, you can post a guide on tips and tricks users can implement on their own computers.
9. Know your audience.
If you’re passionate about making the most accessible site possible, try to get a physical read on how someone with disabilities actually goes online.
As popular as technology and social media is this is a definite “know how” to ensure that all people can use these things to their fullest potential. To see more of this article go to Mashable.