5 Ways to Improve UX With Efficient Website Accessibility Practices

5 Ways to Improve UX With Efficient Website Accessibility Practices

You’ve created an incredible user interface, one that you’re especially proud of. However, there is one issue: it is not accessible to all users.

Perhaps that fact was discovered during testing: as part of the quality assurance process, you should ensure that your site is accessible to all users. Apart from being a necessary component of being an effective designer, ensuring your site is fully accessible has a slew of benefits.

Your site will be more robust and will likely rank well in search engines. Additionally, it is more likely to generate business, as customers despise having to overcome obstacles before completing purchases. While you want your brand’s digital experience to remain engaging, there are several ways to increase the accessibility of your page without sacrificing design.

Font Size, Readability, and Legibility

According to a 2019 survey, pages crammed with too much content ranked first on the list of issues experienced by respondents with disabilities.

Avoiding over-crowding your page is also good design practice. The more things competing for your consumers’ attention, the more likely they will become overwhelmed and simply leave your site.

Essentially, you need to systematize your business, which includes making your pages readable and clear.

This is accomplished through the use of built-in formatting features. Any page that contains lengthy sections of tests should be divided into subheadings, each with its own distinct and obvious title heading – a h1> tag.

Simply breaking up the text will make it easier for people to scan your page. However, with proper formatting, those who are visually impaired and use screen readers can skip directly to the section they require.

Assign proper labeling to your subheadings, not just a larger font size. If you’re using a list, mark it with the ul> or li> tags in HTML to ensure that it renders correctly.

A more straightforward trick is to ensure that the font you choose is large enough and contrasts sufficiently with the background to be easily readable. The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines recommend a contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1 for all text, though splash text is an exception.

Additionally, it has been suggested that sans serif fonts – which include (but are not limited to) Comic Sans – may be easier for individuals with dyslexia to read.

Consider the Color Blind and Your Colors

Here’s something you probably overlooked when designing your website: the fact that colorblind users may have difficulty distinguishing the hues you’ve used. With colorblind people accounting for between 5% and 10% of the American population, this is a sizable segment of users you could be alienating.

Crowdsourced testing may be advantageous in this case: you’ll obtain multiple perspectives on how easy it is to differentiate, particularly if you test in black and white.

Indeed, testing in black and white allows you to determine how well features stand out in the absence of their bright shades. The most common type of color blindness is red-green color blindness, in which individuals are unable to distinguish between the two.

Consider the number of red-highlighted error messages. When you view your page in grayscale, it’s clear that adding color is insufficient to attract attention. Consider clearly labeling all charts and including additional prompts – such as an exclamation point – to emphasize your objective. Alternatively, you can subject your website to color blind tests.

Separation of HTML and CSS

The bane of screen reader users everywhere, the intertwining of HTML and CSS results in quite a jumble for the machine. Additionally, the poor listener will be inundated with information they do not require.

Fortunately, we can now separate HTML and CSS. You can build your page using CSS elements where they are needed, such as site menus at the top, while the HTML code that holds them in place works just as well at the bottom.

This may require some functional testing, particularly if you are unfamiliar with it. Experiment with placement to ensure that assistive technologies such as screen readers can function just as well as people with full visibility.

Link and Form Box Descriptions

Generic CTAs

How many pages have you viewed with a generic ‘click here’ or’read more’ call to action? And how easy do you believe it is to differentiate those buttons when they are all read out sequentially by a screen reader?

As you might guess, it’s not easy at all.

Fortunately, there is a quick fix for this: either rename your links to something more specific that people without visual impairments can see, or use aria-label attributes.

This means that your site’s visible elements will remain unchanged, but the screen reader will announce the alternate label. When read aloud, your’read more’ label can become’read more about website accessibility.’

Forms

Having forms to fill out is a critical component of most businesses’ lead generation strategy – and is even more critical if you’re conducting surveys. Nonetheless, a large number of websites continue to promote forms that are difficult to complete at best and completely inaccessible at worst.

Is there an incredibly simple way to make forms easier to fill out? Permit auto-fill to do its thing. You’re likely to gain more leads from both non-disabled and disabled individuals simply by removing an impediment to signing up.

Indeed, The Manifest reports that a whopping 81 percent of those surveyed have abandoned a form once they’ve begun filling it in. Thus, enabling auto-fill improves accessibility and increases overall sign-ups, which sounds like a win to us.

This is especially advantageous for your targeting and retargeting strategies: after all, who doesn’t want more subscribers?

Downloads

Another simple tweak is to clearly label any download links. This is also quite useful for sighted users, which is why it makes sense to code it in CSS. You can also specify the file’s size, in case viewers are using mobile devices and are hesitant to download large files due to limited data or a weak Wi-Fi signal.

Images and Videos

Another aspect of accessibility that is frequently overlooked is alternate text and audio with visual elements. All critical images should be labeled with alt text that succinctly describes what is depicted. Ideally, all videos would include transcripts and/or subtitles for the hearing impaired. You could even include an audio description with any videos if you believe it is necessary.

It’s always prudent to stay current on software testing news, as programs evolve and new research about what constitutes a good design emerges. This is particularly critical in terms of accessibility. People with disabilities are frequently overlooked, and designers have only recently begun to consider accessibility at all.

Try navigating your site solely with the keyboard, or even with a blindfold on to see if you can navigate easily. Alternatively, you could enlist some QA testers with disabilities to contribute their unique perspective.

Final Remarks

Who knows, you may come up with a solution that becomes the industry standard, paving the way for increased accessibility and usability. While it may require some back-office tinkering, the benefits – and not just financial ones – are limitless. Optimize the user experience on your site for everyone with pro-style accessibility, and the potential of your site will be limitless.

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