Having a website isn’t enough. We need to be aware of how customers interact with our business. What is the user’s context? What are they trying to achieve? How do they discover us? Can your website meet their needs? The answers to these questions will shape the way they interact with your site. The answers are determined by the appearance of your website’s design on mobile devices, seo, and usability. Each of the fields have specialists that can craft your website to be optimized for their particular niche. While you could go down that road, it would be very expensive. Would you like to save some money? Increase profitability? There is another field of design that can provide the majority of the benefits of all those other fields. That field is accessibility.
Accessibility is a field of design that considers the user’s condition and enables them to access your website. Its rooted in physical reality – the reality of your customer. Some people get exposed to accessibility through Section 508 or WCAG to assist disabled users. It’s more than that though. Accessibility is about helping everyone, no matter where they are on the spectrum of ability, to access your site. Making your website accessible is crucial to your business going forward. To illustrate, check out how Accessibility relates to mobile web design, SEO, and Usability.
Life doesn’t stand still. People are on the move. More and more, people are using their mobile device to experience the web. As a whole, web users are goal oriented. Mobile users are even more so.
Accessible web design shares a lot of best practices and concepts with Mobile web design. For example, providing text information for related image, video, and audio content is vital. Mobile users may not have the time or the bandwidth to watch a video. text is also easier to scan. Users that are hard of hearing would also have an issue. However, both user groups can get the information they need by reading the text.
Search Engines like Yahoo and Google also rely on text information. The way web pages are created and the content they portray make all the difference. When it comes to Accessibility and SEO, text is king. Pages that are well structured rank better. They’re also for easier for users, blind or otherwise, to navigate. In fact, you should think of a search engine as a blind user. When your website is developed for accessibility, the core of your SEO is done for you. This frees your SEO consultant up to focus on other activities like link buildling between your site and others, and analytics. So what’s the difference between letting an accessibility developer vs an seo consultant developer your website. The answer is focus. Accessibility is about people, and SEO is about machines. What do you care more about – people or machines?
Accessibility and Usability have a close relationship. Consider the baby boomer generation. Many of them aren’t disabled, but they need accessibility built into the websites they use. Without it, the usability of a website is lower. For example, they’re vision isn’t as great as it was 20 years ago. They need things like slightly larger fonts, and better color contrast. Many web designers however tend to use text that is too small, and colors with too little contrast, because it looks better to them. Help these users by keeping them in mind, and they might be your next customer.
Web Designers that take accessibility seriously provide a lot of value to your website and your business. They know the importance of it to your customers. By developing your website to be accessible, you’re getting the benefits mentioned above. Also, by developing accessibility into your site design, it’ll cost less to develop. Accessibility is about helping everyone access your website. Each person that uses your website is a potential customer. As I said before, making your website accessible is crucial to your business going forward. Consider that before your next website re-design