ACCESSIBILITY: 3 WAYS TO ENSURE THE BEST USER EXPERIENCE POSSIBLE

When you think of your users and people who engage with you digitally, what comes to mind? It’s likely that your immediate thoughts are with a certain target audience, it’s unlikely that you consider that there are people with impairments or disability within this same audience group.

There’s no judgment here if this is true for you, but as user experience specialists we do think it’s incredibly important that you’re well equipped to ensure that you do see and include these people when planning and implementing your digital content from now on.

The Statistics

11 million people in the UK live with a disability of which 6% are children, 16% are working adult age and 45% over state pension age.

61%of disabled people live in households with internet access.

That’s a lot of people who are accessing and searching for online content, whom may not necessarily have a positive experience in part due to businesses not implementing Web Content Accessibility Content (WCAG).


3 Ways to Implement Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)

You’ll be glad to know that there are WCAG businesses should follow to make their digital content accessible and we’ve read them all to provide you with this definitive top list to ensure you provide a great user experience for all.

1. Multimedia Content

There’re several things you can implement for multimedia content support.

a.      Provide a readable text option.

For example; if you have a video that is explaining a service or offers advice, then you should provide a text-based version as well. This could be a pdf download or written as a transcript beneath the video, alternatively the new recommendation is to provide subtitles within the video itself.

Note. If you are a large business with a lot of visitors and web traffic, it would also be worth investing in sign language translation on your video content.

b.      Provide audio control

For any video content on your website you should allow the user to pause auto-play videos and allow them to reduce the audio sound. It’s also worth allowing the user the option of opening the video in a new tab so they can use separate technology to access the video content.

c.      Consider visual presentation

If you have a video that contains flashing images or text you must inform the user before the video is played. Flashing more than 3 times in one second could cause seizures or physical reactions so you should avoid this where possible.

d.      Consider use of colour

Some colours can be difficult for visually impaired people to see. For example; white text on a black background can be difficult for some users. If you are providing a call to action or perhaps you use colour to indicate where someone is in a process or journey, then it should not be the only means by which you do so. It’s also worth considering the contrast between colours within your content.

You should work with your designer to provide alternative ways of supporting someone through your content.

2. Presentation of text

It’s important that text content is responsive. This can contain several elements and you don’t need to comply with all of them to be compliant but it’s worth considering the WCAG’s recommendations;

a.      Text on images should have a contrast of at least 7:1.

b.      Text should not be justified to both left and right

c.      Line spacing between paragraphs and paragraph spacing should be at least 1.5 times large than line spacing

d.      Text should be able be resized without assistive technology by up to 200%. For example; zooming in on content through your browser

3. Website Considerations

You may have to ask your developers or marketing team to implement this, but you should add alt-tags, captions, meta descriptions and headers in the back end of your website. Why? Not only does Google appreciate it and therefore more likely to rank your website in search engines, it also helps read-aloud technology to read your page via audio to a blind or visually impaired user.

It’s important that content can be navigated and accessed in more than one way within the website. For example; you can access a sub page through your home page and main navigation. The user should know where they are on a website through a site map, navigation or through a breadcrumb trail (the URL structure; example.com/accessibility/website-considerations).

Not sure what alt- tags are? Find out more here.

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines provides comprehensive support but with a large amount of jargon. If you’d like to find out more why not get in touch with us or inhouse development team to find out further advice and support.

A few examples of great accessible content;

Moz.com

Devon NHS Partnership Trust

The Guardian

TedTalks

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