How Can You Make Your Graphic and Web Design More Accessible to People with Disabilities
It may seem like the Internet is a completely open and welcoming space for everyone, especially for those who basically grew up with it. But unfortunately, some elements and aspects of online experience make it extremely inaccessible for people with disabilities. People with color vision deficiency or motor disabilities feel especially left out due to some aspects of design such as particular color choices and small links.
You will be surprised to know that people with disabilities constitute 26 percent of the adult US population. It’s about 61 million people, not just a couple of persons here and there. And this is something to think about. Is your website accessible for those people? Do they feel unrestrained while visiting your pages; will they have a comfortable experience? How will that affect their opinion about your business?
If you want to know more about web accessibility and how you can make your website more accessible for all groups of people then keep on reading. We have prepared some tips and insights that will help you make sure that all people are having an equally exceptional experience visiting your website.
What is an accessible web and graphic design?
Accessible design makes it possible to navigate your website easily for as many people as possible. So it basically means navigable, operable and perceivable for the maximum amount of users. It’s important, firstly, because you don’t want to lose 26% of potential customers. And secondly, excluding certain groups of people from using your website cannot be good for your reputation and public opinion about your business.
Main aspects that you should focus on when you want to make your website accessible include:
- colors – if there is not enough contrast between the color of your text and your background, the text is probably going to be unreadable; utilize special tools to check whether you should use two colors together;
- keyboard accessibility – people with motor disabilities have troubles using a mouse, so you have to make sure that all the functions and navigation elements of your website can be used via keyboard;
- scalable text – your texts should be scaled and zoomed to appear properly on different devices; it is very important for people with a decreased ability to see or read;
Now, it’s not only because it’s “good” to care about all groups of people, but the legislation of the U.S. requires federal agencies to implement ICT that can be accessed by users with disabilities.
While it doesn’t say anything about privately-owned companies, many still keep those guidelines in mind while developing digital web design.
In the European Union, websites and mobile apps of public sector bodies are required to be accessible for people with disabilities. Still, privately owned businesses are not risking fines, but a lot of them changing their designs to make them more accessible.
Practices for accessible design
The following practices are to be used in order to make sure that your website or graphics can be accessed by as many people as possible:
- accessibility – accessible design means that it can be easily used, perceived, and navigated by people who usually have challenges with it;
- universality – it basically means that instead of focusing on just one particular group, like people with disabilities, we make the website accessible for everyone at the same time; very often to provide universality one has to make just a few updates and thus make the website accessible for the maximum number of potential visitors;
- usability – by making all your design elements adjustable, you provide the maximum usability;
If you are ready to take the path towards accessible graphics in web design and websites in general but have never really seen some good examples, here are a few that will surely inspire you to move in this direction:
This is a website of a digital accessibility company, so you know what to expect. Non-text elements are provided with an alternative text. The site supports keyboard-only users. They are using contrasting colors, the text is easy to read, so overall, it’s a great example of the accessible yet gorgeous website!
Nomensa is the name of the UX design agency and their website will surely meet the expectations that you may have for one.
Once again, we can see readable texts, contrasting colors, and easy navigation, some crucial elements of the accessible design.
Their website isn’t just minimalistic and beautiful, the chosen colors and fonts make it accessible even for people with visual disturbances.
You or your designers can work on their own, but it can be much easier to use tools and resources made for building a more accessible custom website design. You can try:
Implementing practices of graphic and web accessibility can open your website to new groups of potential customers making sure that as many people are having exceptional experience using your website as possible. You can think about it as means of stimulating the growth of your business as well as building up your reputation and benefiting the community.