It is essential for businesses to acknowledge that everyone perceives and interacts differently in the online world. Individuals who see, hear, move, and/or think differently want and deserve the same opportunities to engage in digital content as the rest of society.
When you are planning your business's digital marketing and website design, be inclusive and make your digital content accessible for all. Doing so not only benefits individuals with disabilities, but can also help busy, less tech-savvy, or English-as-a-second-language-users. It also positively impacts your SEO ranking and readability levels.
When implementing web accessibility, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 * are the global web accessibility standards to follow.
With WCAG 2.1 in mind, here are our tips for making your web content more accessible:
Some of your users may have a visual impairment. They may not be able to see colours, need to increase the text size, or use a screen reader.
- Use high contrast text. Pay attention to text contrast against backgrounds and images.
- Use clear headers, subheadings, titles, and lists with the correct ranking.
- Label links descriptively.
- Write proper image tags (ALT Text).
- Label form fields properly (including checkboxes and data fields).
- Include options for increasing text size.
Some users may be sensitive to sound or want to turn sound off in certain situations and some users may not be able to hear at all.
- Provide enough descriptive text and images to get the message across visually.
- Use captions and transcripts with all media that has a sound component, particularly videos.
Movement varies between users. Some of us can swipe and click easily, while others may need to use a keyboard or an eye-movement tracking machine to navigate. Make it easy for users to navigate through your digital content.
- Ensure your whole website can be navigated by keys on a keyboard.
We all think differently. Some people learn better depending on if they read, hear, or try out the material for themselves. This is also the case with accessibility as some people may absorb information better when they hear it instead of reading it. Some users may need more time to process information or may understand it better in another language.
- Use simple and concise language.
- Provide alternative languages.
- Include audio and/or visual media to get your message across.
- Enable a stop/pause/slow down button for moving content.
- Adjust time limits so people can choose to stop or extend these time limits.
It is important that we make the effort to include those who see, hear, move, and think differently when we plan and create digital content.
* To learn more about WCAG 2.1 web accessibility guidelines, visit www.w3.org.