Here are a three simple accessibility tips to keep in mind so you can create more inclusive and user friendly designs. But inclusive how? According to WebAIM, the major categories of disability types are:
Blindness, low vision, color-blindness
Deafness and hard-of-hearing
Inability to use a mouse, slow response time, limited fine motor control
Learning disabilities, distractibility, inability to remember or focus on large amounts of information
We should all be designing with these accessibility challenges in mind.
1. Meaningful “alt” Text
alt attribute is familiar to anyone who’s ever found themselves coding an
<img> tag. It provides an alternative, textual definition of the image content. Screen readers typically find that
alt text falls into one of two extremes: either it provides an overload of information or it’s nonexistent (neither being useful).
Remember to use meaningful and succinct text to help those that are vision impaired navigate through your site. Then while you’re at it:
2. Don’t Rely on Color Alone
Color shouldn’t be the only visual tool you use to convey meaning. Use shape, weight, or some other visual indicator in addition to color to differentiate between elements.
Consider viewing a page in greyscale and using color contrast checkers to improve overall accessibility.
3. Lightweight Fonts Are Not the Best Option
I remember my time at design school and being overly focused on how things look and feel. Thin, light weight fonts may be easy for younger eyes, but it is important to consider the full range of users and how their vision capabilities differ.
Optimize your font weight and size to be more functional for the end user, rather than focusing on aesthetics.
Learn More About Web Accessibility
There’s so much more to learn about accessibility. The tips listed above are a great start to get you thinking in an accessible way–for your next step take a look at the resources below:
A Beginner's Guide to Web Accessibility Tuts+ Course
- Introduction to Web Accessibility
- WebAIM newsletter
- Web Accessibility Initiative by the World Wide Web Consortium
- Making the Web Accessible for Everyone With Inclusive Design and Diverse Personas