Let’s Make 2023 the Year of Accessible Websites 🌐
Happy New Year! In 2023 let’s make web accessibility a top priority.
We’ve previously stressed the importance of accessibility on the web. It accommodates users in need and greatly improves the user experience for all. Research shows that around 26% of adults in the U.S. have some form of disability, which can often be a barrier to accessing the digital world.
Everyone benefits from web accessibility - including your business
Brands that focus on ensuring web accessibility will have an advantage over those that don’t. To put this advantage into numbers, a study made by the British Click-Away Pound found that 69% of the surveyed people who meet an inaccessible website will leave the site immediately. Without focusing on web accessibility in your digital presence, you may be excluding a large number of potential customers who will then turn to your competitor.
Some key elements of an accessible website include:
Consistent design and navigation
Clear color contrasts
A design that can be navigated by both a keyboard and a screen reader
But website features that are essential for people with disabilities also provide a better user experience for everyone. For example:
Captioning in videos is essential for people with hearing disabilities, but also important for people in loud environments, or even individuals who are not comfortable speaking a specific language.
Large and easy-to-press buttons are essential for people with deteriorating motor skills, but also crucial for people in motion, whether on a walk or even on a shaky bus.
Navigating a website with a keyboard is essential for someone who may have only one arm, but also important for someone holding their infant child in the other arm.
Web Accessibility Is a Social Responsibility
It’s important to note that web accessibility is not only an aspect of increased business opportunities and larger market share. At Adapt, we believe creating inclusive and accessible websites is our social responsibility.
Our friends at Contentful, a headless content management system we frequently partner with, said it well: “Being online is no longer a luxury or a source of entertainment; it’s how people pay their bills, take part in their governments and receive information.”
Ensuring that websites are accessible for people regardless of impairments and disabilities is a way of providing equal access and equal opportunity for all, especially as the world we live in becomes increasingly digital.
SEO Rewards the Accessible
Apart from providing a much better user experience, web accessibility is also closely related to better Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
This means that Google will reward you and your business if you ensure a certain level of accessibility initiatives, such as providing alternative texts for images and descriptive links which can be read by a screen reader and a Google crawler.
How can you make your site more accessible?
Start by creating content that puts non-typical users at the front. Imagine a user who uses a screen reader and must wait for the entire page to be read before being able to choose which section is most interesting to them. Through the use of fields and identifiers, a user can easily choose the content they want.
Contentful explains, “Your content model needs to be structured with your non-visual users in mind. When users are interacting with your website with assistive technology, the information given back to them uses context and functions taken from your code and content model. The way content is structured in Contentful is conducive to this process from the get-go.”
Of course, considerations like screen readers are only a tiny part of what makes a website truly accessible, but it’s a great example of what to consider and where to start.
If you're ready to get serious about an accessible site, let's chat.
How can Adapt help you?
We work with platforms like Contentful, mentioned above, to create a more equitable digital world. If you and your business want to make your website or app more accessible, we are ready to help. Read more about how we work with web accessibility here.