Gone are the days when you can expect your website users to land on your website and figure out the navigation. Today, competition is fierce and users are more demanding than ever before. You cannot get away with a shoddy website anymore. In fact, you will also have to accommodate disabled and consider their needs when creating a website. Making your website more accessible is not an option anymore, it is a necessity and web designers have realized it.
In this article, you will learn how to create an inclusive web design in 8 simple steps.
1. Define Accessibility
Accessibility and inclusive design are used interchangeably because most people don’t understand the difference between the two. Accessibility design is about eliminating hurdles so that users can use the websites and apps without any hassle. On the other hand, inclusive design is about making your design accessible to as many people as you possibly can. A professional web design agency keeps these things in mind when creating a website which is why their designs tend to strike a chord with your target audience.
2. Use Simple Language
Just like the design, the typography you use on your website can have a major impact. Make sure that you make your website accessible by using simple language and fonts that are easily readable. Small steps such as aligning your text from the left to right, underlining links, using line and paragraph spacing can go a long way in improving your website accessibility.
Avoid using technical jargons and abbreviations and even if you do, make sure that you explain it for the users. Logically structure your website content by breaking your content into several headings. Use bullet points and numbers to make your content easier to skim for readers as most readers will just skim through your website content instead of reading it completely. The easier it is for users to get the information they need from your website, the more satisfied they will be and the better will be their user experience.
3. Make Colors Stand Out
Just like the layout and typography, colors can also play an important role in making the great first impression. It can convey a message and tell a lot about your brand personality to the users. That is why it is important to choose the colors for your website wisely. Use colors that blends well with each other especially if you are using multiple colors on your website. You don’t want the colors on your website to overshadow other design elements. Never use the same background and text color as it will make the text virtually invisible. Use contrasting colors for background and text such as black and white. Make sure you check how your website looks and feels before making it go live.
4. Help Users
Help users in navigating your website by providing visual aids. Small steps such as labeling the form fields correctly can go a long way in preventing user confusion, which can lead to mistakes. You can also use placeholders to show an example of input, which will help users a lot. Be proactive and fix user errors automatically to deliver a great user experience. Incorporate auto complete facility for forms on your website and your users will be happy to share out their details with your business. For instance, if the user just typed in your website URL without http or https, you can add it automatically in the beginning and prevent the users from seeing annoying error messages.
5. Use Simple Gestures
If you are impressed by fancy gestures and animation, I don’t blame you. They look great and help users perform a particular task in creative way. Unfortunately, there is a downside to it, these gestures are difficult to execute and memorize for users, which kills the whole purpose of these gestures in the first place. Gestures are incorporated to make users life easier, not harder. By using simple gestures, you can not only make your website more accessible to both normal and disabled users. Ask yourself, “Do you really need to implement complex gestures?” In most cases, the answer would be in negative.
6. Never Create Pressure
No one likes to feel the pressure but normal people can handle it in one way or another but what about disabled people. You don’t want to create an anxiety inducing interface for your website. With web designers being more imaginative and creative, we are seeing more dynamic user experiences. It might be great in some cases but it can also put user under stress in others. That is why it is important that you use it sparingly only when needed and remove unnecessary dynamic elements from your website. Avoid using pop ups, carousal and alerts, which distracts users as it will hamper the user experience of your website.
7. Collaborate with Developers
Making accessibility improvements to your website requires input from multiple stakeholders. Make your website screen reader friendly and optimize different elements on your website which ensures that your website is screen reader ready. Everything from icons, screens, interfaces and text labels should all be optimized. For this, you will have sit with your developers and work cohesively.
8. Focus on Skip to Main Content
Another common indicator that most businesses tend to ignore is “Skip to main content” It is a obscure accessibility feature tells you a lot about user behaviors and how they interact with your website. This also shows that the content above the fold is not interesting or relevant which is why users are skipping directly to main content. If you are implementing this feature, make sure that section reader is currently focusing on is highlighted to minimize confusions. This way, users know where they actually are on a webpage.
How do you create an inclusive and accessible web design for your business? Feel free to share it with us in the comments section below.