Written by Cody Ogden, one of Brandography’s software engineers, who recently spoke on web accessibility at the Minnebar technology and software conference in Minneapolis.
It is hard for us to imagine life without the Web. In modern times, we use the Web for everything from ordering food to communicating with loved ones. The Web is part of our everyday lives – including the lives of people with disabilities.
In the United States, about one in five people reported having a disability. That is a lot of potential users on your website or application. One might argue that population may not all be current web users, and they’d be correct. As web savvy generations grow older, however, there will be an increased need to ensure that the Web is accessible to everyone.
What is web accessibility? And how does it impact your business?
Web Accessibility means that people with disabilities can perceive, understand, navigate, and interact with the Web. It also means that people with disabilities are able to contribute to the Web. This ensures that information, services, and ideas are available and accessible to everyone. Opportunities to improve Web Accessibility through intentional website development services exist in every part of a web experience.
Web standards help guide the planning, designing, and building of accessible websites. Implementing these standards can include both technical and creative challenges. For example, meeting these standards means that when you create a website, you must ensure:
- All navigation is possible via the keyboard.
- Text and background colors must have sufficient contrast.
- Users can access all parts of the application or website.
- Touch targets for links and buttons are large enough.
- Distracting movements and video can be controlled or turned off.
- All content is accessible to everyone.
Building your website or web application with accessibility in mind ensures that the widest audience possible can reach your content and services. Web Accessibility benefits people with disabilities, power users, and even your business. It can improve your search engine optimization, and it can help you reach a wider audience with your marketing content.
For example, imagine you recently posted a detailed infographic on your website. Search engines and screen readers cannot read or understand infographic images. A web content writer can craft a text alternative that will represent the information contained in the infographic. Well-written text alternatives use plain language and coherent sentence structure to represent the data in a way that is accessible to everyone. Using a text alternative creates an accessible experience for people who use screen readers while ensuring the content can be indexed by a search engine.
Everyone benefits from Web Accessibility. Partnering with a web development company that understands these standards and follows best practices is important to creating experiences that empower and engage your users. Brandography is a Minneapolis-based digital marketing firm that offers extensive and comprehensive SEO, marketing, design, and web development services to help businesses connect with their customers. Talk to our team today!