Accessibility is one of the most important aspects of web design, and with these commandments, you can take steps towards a more accessible website.
1. Use Accessibility Audits
Accessibility audits are when you use a third-party resource or user feedback to survey how accessible your content is. They are absolutely essential to creating an accessible website. Audits can tell you where your content has room to improve and include more users.
2. Keep It Simple
Keep your content simple. Long, drawn-out sentences with lots of fluff aren’t helping anyone. By taking steps towards more succinct content, you are making more readable, more accessible content. Once you have a vision for your message, find a way to say it as simply and clearly as possible.
3. Be Considerate
This is not to say it’s important to be inoffensive in the conventional way. Rather, it is important to make sure that you make the basic functionality of your site as considerate as possible. Take steps such as being colorblind-friendly and keeping options in easy-to-see places. Being considerate of prohibitive factors is one of the most important aspects of accessibility.
4. Add Functionality
Make your site and your content as functional as possible. This can be achieved by adding features such as text-to-speech and read-only. You can also add support functions and other processes to promote customer success. There is almost always room to improve your site’s functionality, and it is important to begin taking steps towards it.
5. Feature Important Aspects
Akin to keeping it simple, your site should feature the important aspects above all else. It’s important to not get bogged down with extraneous elements on your site. If you follow this commandment you will find your content to be more consumable, and your overall mission will come across much more clearly.
6. Understand Your Users
Understanding your user base in web development is as important as understanding your target market in marketing. By collecting data and understanding who is using your product, you can gain insight into how to be more accessible. Once you’ve done this, none of your users will be alienated by non-inclusive content.
7. Ask What You Can Do
Communication is the key to success in many parts of life, and this remains true in web development. Ask your users and potential users what you could do to make your site more accessible. Find out what users are having trouble with which parts of your site. Once you’ve learned what the problem is, you can act on it to move towards a more accessible site.
8. Use User-Friendly Design
Web development and web design go hand-in-hand, and it’s virtually impossible to be successful in one without the other. By using user-friendly design, you create a more streamlined site. This will allow your users a more cohesive experience, making the site and its content easier to understand.
9. Make Your Content Consumable
Content such as mission statements, tools, pictures and blog posts is the lifeblood of most websites. It’s what sets you apart from your competitors. By making your content more enjoyable, pleasing and consumable, you can add to user enjoyment. Not only that, but more consumable content will be easier for many users to understand and enjoy.
10. Employ Progressive Enhancement
Progressive enhancement is the practice of gradually increasing the content a user’s device receives based on how advanced it’s technology is. By employing progressive enhancement, you ensure that you aren’t overloading a user or their device while still giving them the essentials. This allows your users a more accessible site without compromising the user’s experience.