When your website is slow, there are many reasons that are working against your website. It’s not just your web hosting or your website design, you need to check on the small website elements that make a huge difference. When your website is not accessible like the way it should be, it is basically driving the audience away. There is a lot of competition out there and if your website has accessibility issues, you won’t be able to sustain the competition for a very long time.
Why Is Web Accessibility Important?
Accessibility is basically how fast you can obtain something that you are looking for in a webiste. However, in terms of the online world, we are looking at a more concrete definition of this term. When someone tries to browse your website, there can be many elements that hamper your website speed and accessibility. These elements can be a roadblock to the visitor’s intention of being on your website and for looking for what they need.
Even the basic factors like the colors used in the website design can severely affect the user experience (UX) of your website for the normal users and for the visually challenged users as well.
Here is an insight on 5 important website elements that can cause accessibility issues:
Sliders or carousals; you will see them on every other website! Using sliders is a popular way for presenting content and powerful quotes. However, sliders also comprise of a lot of detractors. At times, sliders can get really terrible for website accessibility. If they are used on all the pages, they can get confusing for navigating within the website and they are also difficult for the screen reader technology when it comes to making sense of the sliders.
If the sliders are not moving fast or if they have a lot of animation, they can have significant impact on the page speed. Having said that, it is true that there is no harm in using sliders on the home page of your website but make sure that you don’t have too many animations for the sliders and avoid having too many sliders as well.
It’s very frustrating when someone tries to navigate within a poorly designed form. Forms are one of the most crucial elements on your website and you must get them right! Forms denote the end of the conversion funnel and they must be absolutely well designed. You must spend time to ensure that everything goes well while creating the forms on your website. You can consider the measures mentioned below to ensure that the forms on your website are designed correctly:
- Make sure that the tab order of the form is logical and right.
- The correct label should be assigned to every field.
- All the <placeholder> tags should be removed before making the form live.
- Group all the similar elements like checkboxes and radio buttons.
If your website is based on WordPress, fortunately all of these aspects are taken care of through the WordPress accessibility plugins. However, it is recommended to double check on every aspect before you make the form live.
It is hard to believe that website links can cause any issues to website accessibility but it is true. The good news is that you need to check only a few things to get the website links right. Usually the anchor texts used in the links are important; generally the users appreciate if the anchor texts are more than just a word. A short phrase is said to gain more attention and clicks in place of just one word. Therefore, you need to work towards making your links look meaningful.
Here are some guidelines that you can use to set your website links right:
- Add ‘skip nav links’ wherever possible. The nav element denotes the section of the page whose aim is to provide navigational links either in the current document or in some other document.
- Make sure that all the links are clearly visible; you can highlight the links by underlining them or by using different colors for them.
- Make use of the :focus state. The main aim of including focus tag is providing guidance to the users. The :focus tab signifies the exact element the user is dealing with, it can be a button or a block of text. This tag is important so that your website is properly accessible to all types of users.
To make your website easy for the users who make use of the screen readers, all the aspects mentioned above are especially important.
The colors used on your website are more important than you think and they affect the accessibility of your website to a great extent. If your website goes by the color of your logo, the colors of your website are already pre-defined to match the logo and brand image. But you need to think that all types of users are going to access your website and they should be able to easily move within your website, right? Therefore, it is important to plan your website design’s color contrast levels.
If you make use of very similar colors for all the elements of your website, it will be difficult for the users to distinguish between different elements. This is important so that your users are able to navigate within your website seamlessly.
Good color choices require careful planning and when the color scheme is done correctly, it has the power to influence how a visitor interprets the way he/she sees your website. Colors of your website are the most powerful tools to get reactions about your website from your audience. So plan well about the colors that you have on your website, you don’t need to have too many colors but having a subtle and elegant color scheme that is able to distinguish all the aspects of your website is good enough.
The text on your website is a vital element, it needs deep consideration and planning. When it comes to the text of your website, there are many aspects that need your attention. After the audience notices the color scheme of the website, the next thing they will move to is the text on the website and therefore it is important for you to make the text enjoyable and accessible.
To start with, you need to take into consideration that your website audience with visual impairment will be using their screen readers. To make it comfortable for them, it is important to add the language attributes to the HTML of your website pages (for example – use of lang=”en”). This tag denotes that the website’s language is English.
It is also crucial to make use of clean structures and semantic headings as it will help all the readers to easily read through your content. The images on your website also have a crucial role to play when it comes to ensuring seamless website accessibility. Make sure that the images are just right and use the “alt text“ tag to denote the specifications of the image so that all types of users can understand the meaning of the image.
Over to you…
Your website will be considered a superior website when it can be accessed, read and used by all types of audience. While there are a huge number of issues that hamper a website’s accessibility, taking care of the most important ones will do good to your website. Keep checking your website occasionally from the user’s point of view and you will definitely find the factors of your website that you can work on for improving them and this is how your website will keep getting better with time.