What is accessible web design and how important is it?

CHP’s definition: Accessible web design facilitates easy and equal access for all users to a website’s information and functions.

Accessible Web Design

Not all users are able to interact with a website in the same way. Accessible web design caters for older audiences and those with visual, hearing, cognitive and motor impairments. A few simple examples are:

  • to use larger headings for visually impaired users;
  • use grey instead of black for body text and smaller text for dyslexic users; and
  • avoid colours known to cause issues for colour blind users.

Assistive Technologies

Modern browsers and operating systems, alongside specialist assistive technologies, can also be leveraged to deliver a consistently good experience. Navigation of a website should be possible using the keyboard only. The website design should be friendly to text zooming which can be very useful. Spoken text will also be available to page readers and html should be presented accordingly.

Animated areas should be carefully considered. Although animated content can add great value, it can be highly confusing and often will not work with assistive technologies. Use of ‘alt’ tags are imperative throughout to describe images accurately. This will provide users of audio screen readers with information which may otherwise be inaccessible.

With the modern internet, unfortunately spam form submissions are a fact of life. To save the extra task of manually filtering multiple automated form submissions, many websites use ‘captcha’ to authenticate users as non-robot. These techniques can conflict with accessibility best practice. CHP Design can help introduce other methods to reduce spam form submissions.

Consistent & Coherent for all Audiences

Accessible website techniques are a serious concern, even for a small business with a limited budget. They ensure that the widest possible audience all receive an approachable, consistent and coherent corporate image. This is key to successful brand message communication, recognition and loyalty.