Accessibility is an important issue in many areas, but web design can often overlook the needs of a small but important minority of potential visitors.
So what are the key considerations when building your site in terms of its accessibility, and what can you do to appeal to the diverse audience you are hoping to attract?
Groups to Consider
Colour blindness is surprisingly common, especially amongst men. Short-sightedness is also something which impacts many millions of people, while around a tenth of Brits suffer from dyslexia and thus have their own needs which need to be met in terms of web design.
Even taking the time to consider any of these groups will put you ahead of the game, as so many sites overlook them, and so making changes to cater to them will give you the competitive edge.
Tweaks to Make
In terms of colour, the biggest tip to take on board is that picking plenty of contrasting hues will provide the best overall user experience for all visitors. So avoid choosing too many similar colours for your site’s interface, as this may make navigation tricky for those with particular conditions.
To make your site more impactful amongst those with visual impairments, remember to add alt text to any images you embed on pages. This will enable screen readers to automatically explain what is being presented in the image in a descriptive manner rather than providing a meaningless file name which may be just a series of digits.
In general terms, it is better to keep your site design simple and minimalistic if accessibility is a concern, rather than being tempted by flashy transitions and over-the-top graphical elements. Engaging with a specialist digital agency like http://www.netcentrics.co.uk/, a Cardiff web designer, will let you talk through the potential issues and come up with workable solutions that do not hinder the overall aim of your site.
Most of all, you should think about accessibility when testing your site and take a number of different perspectives to work out whether or not it is doing its job properly. Google offers a range of accessibility testing tools for precisely this purpose, so it is a good idea to take advantage of them early in the development process rather than leaving it until the last minute.