Web accessibility for everyone

Yes, web content is important, but even more important is reaching everyone with your content.  That is what accessibility means: every person, no matter what disabilities or restrictions they have, can navigate and understand your content on the web.

User-centered design

Follow these steps to successfully make your site accessible to everyone.

1. User Requirements Analysis 

  • Include Persons With Disabilities (PWD) among your personas
  • Identify their functional and practical needs

2. Conceptual Design 

  • Include PWD functional and practical needs
  • Follow “Practical Accessibility Guidelines”
  • Conduct a simple accessibility evaluation

3. Design & Implementation 

  • Use accessibility prompts in your web editor
  • Conduct a comprehensive accessibility evaluation

4. Usability Evaluation 

  • Include PWD in user testing

5. Launch & Maintenance 

  • Review additions and revisions for accessibility
  • Repair problems

Web accessibility:

  • helps those with visual/hearing impairments to be able to use websites as easily as any other person.
  • provides accurate descriptions of photos and close captioning videos helps everyone enjoy all elements of a website.
  • is not just about those that are visually impaired but also for general users. Choosing fonts that are easy to read helps all users understand and navigate a site easily.

Mobile usability

Especially with the advent of the smart phones and the iPad, another audience to keep in mind is your mobile readers.

Content for the increasing amount of mobile users should be focused on the essentials.

Research has proven it’s 108 percent harder to understand information when reading from a mobile screen so take the following into consideration when creating content:

  • Attention spans for mobile user are extremely short and scanning is even more important.
  • Emphasize nanocontent so that the first two words in headlines and links are concise.
  • Limit navigation options since content is isolated from other content.
  • Load time on mobile devices is slow so reduce elements like images, flash, and content only accessible through download.

Find more information on mobile usability in this study.