In today’s digital age, websites are the virtual storefronts that offer a first impression of your business to the world. As such, it’s crucial that they are not just visually appealing but also accessible to as many people as possible. Accessible web design ensures that all users, including those with disabilities, can easily interact with your website. Given the growing emphasis on inclusivity, a web design company in Singapore should prioritise accessible design practices. Here are some of the best practices that can guide you towards creating a more accessible website.
Use Semantic HTML
Semantic HTML elements like headers (<h1>, <h2>, etc.), lists (<ul>, <ol>), and links (<a>) provide context about the content they enclose. Screen readers use these elements to offer an easier navigation experience for visually impaired users. Utilising semantic HTML is the first step in making your website accessible.
Provide Text Alternatives for Non-Text Content
Images, videos, and other multimedia elements should have text alternatives. This can be achieved through the use of “alt text” for images and subtitles or transcripts for videos. Text alternatives ensure that users with visual or hearing impairments can understand the content that is being presented.
Ensure Keyboard Accessibility
Not all users can navigate a website using a mouse. Some may rely on keyboard navigation due to physical limitations. Make sure all website functionality can be accessed via keyboard-only commands. This includes forms, menus, and even interactive features.
Prioritise Readable Text
Text is one of the most crucial elements of a website, so it must be easily readable. Use fonts that are clear and straightforward, and make sure that there is a contrast ratio between the text and background colours. Also, it allows users to adjust text size without breaking the site layout.
Make Forms Accessible
Forms are often essential for user interaction, whether signing up for newsletters or purchasing. Labels should be clearly identified and positioned correctly. If there are mandatory fields, indicate them clearly. Moreover, it offers guidance or error messages to help users correctly complete the form.
Use ARIA (Accessible Rich Internet Applications) Landmarks
ARIA landmarks help identify different web page sections, such as navigation, main content, or a footer. These landmarks provide cues to screen reading software, allowing smoother navigation for those relying on such devices.
Test for Accessibility
You won’t know how accessible your website is until you test it. Make use of accessibility testing tools and seek feedback from users with various abilities. If possible, engage in usability studies to witness firsthand how different people interact with your website.
Accessible web design is not just a ‘nice-to-have’ feature; it’s necessary in our increasingly inclusive world. Beyond being a moral imperative, accessibility can also improve SEO and widen your audience reach. As businesses and agencies, like any forward-thinking web design company in Singapore, adapt to this evolving landscape, these best practices for accessible web design can serve as a foundational guide. The result is a website that can be navigated and understood by as many people as possible, making the internet a more inclusive space for everyone.