Developing Accessible Websites
In order to assure that websites and web applications are accessible and usable by everyone, it’s important that web accessibility guidelines are followed. The features listed are not intended to replace or map to formal standards within the World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C’s) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.
WCAG is organized around four key principles (P.O.U.R.):
- Perceivable – making sure users can perceive content. This helps us keep in mind that just because something is perceivable with one sense, such as sight, that doesn’t mean that all users can perceive it.
- Operable – can users use UI (user interface) components to navigate the content. For example, something which requires a hover interaction cannot be operated by someone who can’t use a mouse or is using a touchscreen.
- Understandable – Can users understand the content? Also, can all users understand the interface and is it consistent enough to avoid confusion?
- Robust – is it robust enough for the content to be consumed by a wide variety of user agents? Does it work with assistive technology?
Features of Accessible Websites
- Good use of HTML headings.
- Ensure page can be navigated with a keyboard.
- Provide alternative text descriptions to images.
- Use accessible menus.
- Design accessible form controls using labels, instructions, and validation/error messages.
- Use tables for data and use column headers.
- Use sufficient color contrast. Don’t convey content with color alone.
- Ensure link text makes sense on its own. Avoid ambiguous link text.
- Format lists as ordered or unordered lists.
- Watch the use of caps. All caps can be difficult to read and can be read incorrectly by screen readers.
- Identify document language.
Download 30 Web Accessibility Tips PDF.