A website is an important asset for a business – small or an enterprise. Website development helps the businesses to:
- Be Visible to Customers at All Times
- Build Brand and Recognition
- Improve Customer Engagement
- Stand Out From the Competition
- Create a Direct Marketing Channel
Your website is a medium by which the information on your products and services reaches your audience globally. But is it really reaching the whole population?
The internet is not disabled friendly. If a blind person needs any information on your product, a non-accessible website (which is meant to be informative) will be of no use to them. Disabled people widely rely on technology. The advancements are massive and impressive to guide them through, very easily. Why not make your website disabled friendly? You can cater a wider audience by doing so.
We have taken few disabilities into consideration in this article to better understand the website development that is disabled friendly.
Things to take care for disabled friendly website development for visual impaired and deaf
Globally the number of people of all ages visually impaired is estimated to be 285 million, of whom 39 million are blind. And over 360 million people suffer from hearing loss. – U.N.
Catering these million of the differently abled audience with your website is a tough job. Here are few things to take care for your website development idea:
Alt tags are the tiny words that pop up over an image while you hover your mouse over it. The visually impaired people use a screen reader, a software that reads texts on the website out loud. The alt tags are read aloud by the reader and that’s the only way a person knows what the image is.
James Rath runs a popular channel on YouTube. His Instagram posts always have the caption that describes what’s the image about. This makes the image reach a wider audience. P.S – James Rath is legally blind. He widely uses technology to navigate places and many other things.
Take alt tags seriously and use them as an opportunity to describe the image accurately and succinctly. If it’s a picture of a person, write out the person’s name. If it’s an object, use a couple of words to describe it. For eg, if the image has a mobile phone, add a text saying ‘a black colored mobile phone lying on the desk’. This is the first and essential step to disabled friendly website development, as most websites contain images to showcase their products and services.
- Subtitles and Transcripts
Including videos in websites has become a trendsetter. It keeps the visitors engaged and drives the traffic to your website. Adding videos to your website adds an ‘entertainment’ factor to your informative website.
Providing subtitles to your videos, especially if you’re producing the bulk of your own video content will prove to be helpful. Popular video hosting sites such as YouTube have tools that allow users to add subtitles to their clips.
Making a transcription of the video is an incredibly helpful resource for developing a disabled friendly website. T
- Put periods in abbreviations
If you’re abbreviating something in HTML, put periods in between each letter. For example, if you’re referencing the Central Intelligence Agency, write it out as C.I.A., rather than CIA. A screen reader won’t recognize the abbreviation without periods, and will instead read it out phonetically as a word (C-I-A will be read as “cia”).
When embedding a link in a post, it’s more useful to describe the link, rather than just telling the reader to “click here.” For example, it’s better to write out, “To learn more about technology, check out Mashable’s tech channel” instead of “To learn more about technology, click here.”
Whenever possible, underline your links or make sure that there is a color contrast between hyperlinked text and regular text. That way, colorblind users will able to find a link immediately without having to hover over it with their cursors.
Practicing smart color choices is useful for a website with any kind of audience. Avoid pairing garish colors, and be wary of using yellow, blue and green close to one another (this is especially difficult for colorblind users). Black text on a white background is the best general practice because it’s readable for most audiences.
- CAPTCHA images with audio
CAPTCHA is used to differentiate computers or machines from humans. But this can be a trouble for the visually impaired people. Inserting audio to describe the CAPTCHA image would be beneficial in this case.
Things to take care while making dyslexia friendly website
17% of the world population is dyslexic. If you want your website to not that 17% be left out, here are few things to take care:
- Use a single font throughout the site.
Source: UX Planet
- Use bold rather than italics or underlines when you need to add emphasis.
- Create clear, simple graphics.
- Left justify all your text.
- Write with short paragraphs and sentences.
- Break your text up with headers for easy skimming.
- Use bullet points when appropriate.
Things to take care for website development for people with mobility-related disabilities
For users with mobility problems, it can be difficult to click on small items within a tiny clickable range. It’s like trying to nail a bullseye every single time you play a game of darts. Give the clickable item a wider range so the user can click on it within the item’s general area. There are few other things to take care:
- Ensure all functions can be accessed with the keyboard.
- Use a logical tab order (left to right, top to bottom).
- Provide methods such as a skip link to navigate menus and navigation bars.
- Be careful with the use of shortcut keys as many of them conflict with assistive devices or browser functions.
- Provide logical and standard keyboard commands for interacting with the product.
LetsNurture cares for your differently abled audience
Knowing is half the battle, but implementing the necessary changes for a more inclusive web experience can seem daunting. However, we would be happy to ease your woes.
With the in-house expertise of skilled designers and developers, we understand the discipline of designing disabled friendly website. Share your thoughts with us. Write to us at [email protected].