Access and accessibility are basic human rights. In some countries, this basic human right is actually part of their laws and guarantees it as a basic human right. The year 2018 saw a rise in web accessibility lawsuits which called out for web designs to be more inclusive.
Keeping inclusive web design in mind, designers now realise the importance of web accessibility being a top priority. The accessible elements of websites are being overhauled and website designs are now being refreshed completely.
Here are some of the best tips for your website to be inclusive in its design.
1. Defining Accessibility
Accessibility in web design aims at removing obstacles for smooth usability among users. Users should be able to switch to an alternative accessibility mode.
Developers can create a single and inclusive interface. Fonts should be large for everybody, so all kinds of users are benefitted. Inclusive design is a win because it helps all sorts of users read text easily.
2. Simplify language used in the website
There are a lot of considerations for developers to keep in mind when it comes to inclusive web design. Simplicity of words is achieved when all sorts of users can be able to read without hindrance. The typography (fonts used) also matter as it helps attain consistency.
The following tips can help improve both typography and readability:
- Align text to the left or right only.
- Underlining links for added visual contrast.
- Apply line spacing at least 1.5 times the normal font size.
- Paragraph spacing should be at least 1.5 times the normal line spacing.
- Paragraph breadth should not be more than 80 characters.
And, the following tips can help reduce cognitive load:
- Using simple language.
- Defining abbreviations on first use.
- Link text should be competently described.
- Matching identical URLs with matching link text.
- Structuring content with logic using headings written correctly.
3. Optimising colour contrast
Colour contrast is a measurement of how well colours of multiple design elements are distinguished from one another. Ensure that the minimum colour contrast ratio is such that it enables readability for all kinds of users.
The web content accessibility guidelines (WCAG) defines the following as colour contrast ratio requirements for test over background, as follows:
- 14pt bold or 18 t normal: 4.5:1 (7:1 is a better option).
- 14pt bold or 18pt normal and above: 3:1 (4.5:1 is a better option).
The following are the requirements for user interface (UI) elements:
- Graphical objects: 3:1
- Focus, hover, and active states: 3:1
- Clickable icons and form elements: 3:1
4. Helping users fix errors
Following are the tips in reducing errors:
- Adding https:// to the form’s URL submission.
- Using form labels to describe input fields.
- Placeholders to show acceptable input limits.
- Enabling autofill and autocomplete.
- Displaying form errors in real-time clearly.
- Letting users verify their inputs before submission
5. Consider the ‘skip to main content option’
The skip to main content feature is obscure in web accessibility. It is designed for those who navigate UIs with screen readers. It is activated by the tab key.
The tab key triggers the :focus state and the browser then knows to style the element on its own. In CSS, it appears as a blue box shadow but its in fact outline:. Developers must avoid overwriting this style.
6. Avoid creating pressure on users
Developers should avoid putting pressure on users. Making the UI dynamic through carousels, popups, alerts and distracting animations sacrifices usability. To protect usability, add a level of control for automatically playing media. The same goes for scrolls, blinks and other animations.
7. Communicating with developers
Web designers should communicate the following to web developers:
- Use semantic HTML elements such as <nav> and <header>
- Use ARIA landmark roles to add further context to HTML elements.
- Declaring the correcting language.
- Forming elements.
- Using alt text.
- Preventing use on inline scripting.
8. Selecting simple gestures
Choosing simple gestures will make the website’s UI accessible to all users. Those having a sort of impairment can use the UI without any hindrance. No matter how fancy the design of the UI is, users expect it to be accessible and usable.
Over to You
Inclusive web design is not a simple phenomenon. It requires the help of a top-notch agency renowned for web design Qatar. The Middle East is an inclusive market that does not exclude any user from the web.
In this regard, businesses should not hesitate in consulting for their website’s design and development with Branex.