The key principle of successful online presence is to have an accessible website. But what do you need to do to have one? Redesign or upgrade your site? Make it user-friendly? In today’s article we will tell you main benefits of web accessibility and discuss why web accessibility is also crucial for your business. So listen up!
What is web accessibility?
First of all, we should understand the concept of web accessibility on a good site. Web accessibility means building a website that is available to as many people as possible, including people with disabilities. To solve web accessibility problems (graphs without accompanying data, unlabeled form fields, events triggered only by a mouse, links without text or targets, images without alternative text, videos without captions and many more), apply Web Accessibility Standards with Drupal 8 (e. g. WAI-ARIA and HTML5 markup, alt text for images, color contrast, etc.).
To detect technical issues, server errors or even viruses, you may use website accessibility monitoring. Besides, there are lots of programs that allows you to inspect the accessibility level of your content (Automated Accessibility Testing Tool, AChecker, Axe Chrome Plugin and others). Following simple but useful practices for web accessibility can help your company reach good results on market. The following is a list of benefits you get when you adopt web accessibility.
Top 5 Benefits of Web Accessibility
- Better usability for all types of visitors and devices. Implementing web accessibility, you are likely to find out and solve usability issues that had a bad influence on your visitors as potential customers. True accessibility means universal access for everyone who wants to access any information on your website (or use the services on the site) regardless of platform or physical ability. The great improvements of accessible design offer advantages for all users. Accessible websites are easy to navigate and read. So, pay attention to diverse accessibility needs (very small text, Insufficient colour contrast between text and background, small distance between the elements etc.), from mobile phone or tablet users to visually impaired people.
- Web accessibility increases your audience. An accessible web increases the number of people who want visit your site. As a result of better usability, the customer segments rapidly grow bringing your business more financial profits. Satisfied customers very often become regular visitors and recommend your products to others.
- Accessibility creates market opportunity. Accessibility gives business the opportunity to get access to new markets. It is crucial for accessible content to be cross-compatible across platforms, browsers and operating systems. Accessible sites typically load into the browsers faster. Developers often address the differences in the way their content is displayed in various browsers. Accessible design usually solves many of these cross-browser problems. This way the content is more useable to the audience. More visitors equals more traffic, and more traffic equals more income to business. Moreover, it is great if users can track the information on your site using mobile phones, tablets or other web enabled devices. In fact, today company's reach success largely thanks to the big advantages of the web.
- Improved search engine optimization (SEO). You are no doubt aware that search engines can't recognize the content of images on your site. But when you implement accessibility features into your website (e.g. alt text for images), your SEO will also be better!
- Positive Reputation. An accessible website (the site loads quickly, the content is easily understood, convenient navigation) also helps your reputation. If you care for various users (whether accommodating their disabilities or some other limits, like poor Internet connection), it will not go unnoticed. You can create a positive image of your company yourself. At the same time, it is one more way to engage new visitors and customers.
By the way, recently Microsoft has released Seeing AI — “a smartphone app that uses computer vision to describe the world for the visually impaired. With the app downloaded, the users can point their phone’s camera at a person and it’ll say who they are and how they’re feeling.”
How to implement web accessibility: WAI tutorials
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)'s Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) develops standards to help website owners add accessibility. Now when you understand the importance of accessibility for your site’s success, the team at Drudesk wants to share some useful tips on how to implement web accessibility to your platform.
Images Concepts: provide ALT text for images
You should add alternative text (ALT text) to all your images to describe the information or function they are meant for. By adding text alternatives, you can be sure that people with disabilities will not miss the important data. Below you can learn how to provide appropriate ALT text based on the purpose of the image:
- Informative images: add short description rendering the essential information represented on the image.
- Decorative images: provide a null text alternative (alt="") when the only purpose of an image is decorative.
- Functional images: describe the function of the image used for a button or a link (e.g. print, submit).
- Images of text: ALT text should contain the same information as the image.
- Complex images (diagrams): try to provide a full equivalent of the information represented in the image.
- Groups of images: ALT text for one image should convey the data for the entire group of images.
Add link descriptions
By adding link descriptions you can explain where the link is going and what its purpose is. If you link to a document, don’t forget to include the document type (DOC or PDF) and the file size into the description.
Provide videos and audios with transcripts or subtitles
It is obligatory to include subtitles or transcripts for video and audio content on your website if you want it to be fully accessible. You should also add a pause button to automatic audio or video content on your platform.
Make navigation easy
If you want your website to meet WAI requirements, make it possible to operate all functionalities through the keyboard interface.
Is your site is not accessible yet? Start acting right now when first creating (or redesigning) your website. Obviously, it will be cheaper and faster to implement web accessibility from the very start of every project. We can also check your website for accessibility and give recommendations for improvements. Just contact our experts to get a professional assistance!