Accessibility and its importance to business and design
When it comes to bringing your product or service to the masses it is vital for success that nothing puts potential buyers off or makes them want to find an alternative. This is why accessibility in design is so important as it can make or break a pitch. Accessibility in website design is defined as a feature or function of a website which gives those with disabilities ease of use and the ability to access your site.
Much like making sure your website is responsive so it is applicable for those who use varying size devices, it is important to make sure those who have disabilities have their needs met with an accessible design or you may risk losing a potential consumer.
Some examples of assessable design include having the website be able to be fully accessed with just a keyboard as some assistive programs rely on keyboard-only navigation. Ensuring this is possible with your website will allow those who rely on this service to be able to surf the web, will feel accommodated and you will not be isolating or turning away these consumers.
Another form of accessibility is text-to-speech, text-to-speech is designed for those who are sight impaired or blind, this technology and service allows those with this disability to be able to listen to the information on a page. The importance of this is it allows ease of use to all users of your website, it also does not make any visitor feel isolated, a great experience will also mean that a user is more likely to return to your website and recommend your service to their friends or family which in turn provides your service free advertising.
Consistent or recurring website elements will ensure that those who have intellectual disabilities or are sight impaired will be able to easily navigate your website as they will be able to predict where the element is if it is consistent on each page. The most important element you should be looking to keep consistent is the navigation as this is the feature that those who use your website will use the most and it should be the element which is the easiest to find and use.
When it comes to an accessible website there are 4 key guidelines which you should be looking to adhere to in order to ensure everyone who visits your website is accommodated and so you are not unintentionally turning away people who might otherwise become customers to your business. These guidelines are; perceivable, operable, understandable and robust.
With the increasing population and the exponential growth of internet browsing and shopping, it is important that your website leaves the visitor with a positive experience which they would want to share with others increasing your positive feedback and revenue in response to having an accessible website for all that may use it. In having an accessible website, you are ensuring that you are giving your customers of all backgrounds and abilities the best experience and one they would want to repeat.