How to Design for Web Accessibility — Key Principles & Tips

How to Design for Web Accessibility — Key Principles & Tips

It is important to note that accessibility can benefit even those without disabilities. For example, older people tend to have difficulty reading small fonts. You may also have users with small screens, slow internet connections, or ‘temporary disabilities’ such as lost glasses. You’ll also need to account for ‘situational limitations’ like a noisy environment.

If that’s not enough, there are plenty of other arguments for making your website accessible. Not only is it a good practice, ethically speaking, but it’s also essential to meet many international standards and minimize legal risks. In other words, failure to conform to these standards can leave you open to lawsuits.

For example, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a law in the USA that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities. According to UsableNet’s report for 2020, ADA-based web and app lawsuits were filed even during the coronavirus lockdown, and they quickly reached their 2019 rates as early as May.

It is important to research the accessibility guidelines for your industry, to ensure that your site is fully compliant. For example, government websites in the public sector are required to adhere to stricter guidelines than in other industries. Regardless of your reason for ensuring compliance, it will be time and effort well-spent.

Finally, there is also a business case for accessibility. Accessible websites often rank higher in search results and have faster loading times. Running a highly-accessible site is also a perfect way to strengthen brand presence, attract more visitors, and improve the overall customer experience.

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