Web Hosting Blog
Computers and online content play such an important role in everyday life and work that making them as accessible as possible for as many people as possible becomes the goal, rather than limiting access to a select few. Online content should be accessible to all, including an aging population and those with visual impairments. Not all visual impairments, or advancing age, mean blindness, but certain conditions do have their own unique challenges. There are, however, a few simple solutions for increasing the accessibility of your website content and digital marketing activities, without the need for special software or financial investment.
There are many different levels of visual impairment. It is estimated that around 1.2 billion people live with some sort of vision impairment, so website design to ensure accessibility is becoming more and more important.
Consider the size of your default website font as well. It may look attractive, but if it is too small, or difficult to read, it will present problems for more than the visually impaired. If you wish to conveny your message rather than your artistic or design skills, ensure that the font you use is clear, and large enough for your targeted audience.
For those with vision impairment, differentiating between subtle levels of brightness and shades can be a nightmare. By increasing contrast between design elements, the functionality of your website for those living with such vision impairments can be greatly improved.
Colour blindness affects roughly 4.5% of the population of Britain alone, and most of these are men. By avoiding colour combinations that can be easily confused (red/green – blue/yellow) and adding clear bold text to images, and most importantly, to action boxes, the struggle with colours can be reduced. By ensuring that the text used is bold and easily distinguishable on coloured backgrounds goes a long way towards making it more comfortable to read. After all, the objective is for everyone to see the content, or your bounce rates will certainly increase if it becomes a struggle. Colours are seen differently by those with different conditions, so ensure, that where colour matters to your content, appropriate choices are made.
Adding alternative text (alt text) to images, graphics and infographics increases readability of your website, and provides more content and context for web crawlers to find, thus making it easier rank your site. Giving images a proper name or description instead of the default numbers allocated when saving them, adding descriptions of the image to all ‘alt text’ boxes on the website and using relevant keywords and titles in all descriptions not only enables the web crawlers to find content but helps visitors to your website to understand the content when images fail to appear, or are difficult for the visually impaired to decipher. The same goes for file names and URLs – give them an easily understood, relevant name that describes the subject matter.
For further information and guidance, refer to the Website Accessibility Initiative, and be sure to discuss with your web designer the modifications that can support visually impaired users visiting your website, or viewing your digital marketing content.