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When designing and developing websites or web apps, every developer has in mind that everyone can access the website with ease. Did we really take care of every single human in our mind while creating?
As per the record 20% of the world's population has some kind of disability. This means that while creating websites we need to take care of those with disability so that they can easily access our website and perform necessary actions. For example, those who have a visual disability can easily navigate to our website, differentiate between text and links, etc.
In this blog, we'll discuss the Web Content Accessibility Guideline (WCAG).
Web Accessibility refers to the access to websites or web apps for everyone including those who have different disabilities. These disabilities include visual, auditory, physical, speech, cognitive, language, learning, and neurological disabilities.
Factors affecting website accessibility include visual, auditory, motor, speech, and cognitive.
Visual disability includes difficulties in viewing text, images, videos, and animations.
Auditory disability includes difficulties in listening to audio and notifications sounds.
Motor disability includes difficulties in using devices like a mouse, keyboard, touch, etc.
Speech disability includes difficulties in audio inputs and calling.
Cognitive disability includes difficulties in remembering, learning, and concentrating like passwords, and OTPs.
The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines by Web Accessibility Initiative (W3C) recommend 4 basic principles for making web-accessible websites, which are perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust (POUR)
Perceivable: It means that the user can easily identify the interface and its elements through visual, sound effects, videos, and animations.
Operable: It means that the user can easily navigate to the website and use links, buttons, and other actions on the page like captcha verification.
Understandable: It means that the user can easily understand the content of the website and is comfortable with the design, layout, and format.
Robust: It means that the user can easily use, and interact with the website with the devices they are comfortable with.
We have listed best practices and use cases for making websites accessible. Let's discuss them one by one.
When we insert/use images on the websites then either we forget to use alt="" attribute or we define a non-descriptive text. For example, let we have inserted a logo on our website and we define alt="logo". Then this will mislead the user and create lots of questions in their mind like what logo, whose logo, etc. The best way to overcome this is to use a fully descriptive text for the alt text like alt="lynxsia-it-solutions-logo".
Let's have another example of the below image where hands typing on a white wireless keyboard.
<img src="https://lynxsia.com/photos/hands-typing-on-white-wireless-keyboard.jpg" alt="hands typing on a white wireless keyboard."/>
If the image failed to load the below output is shown which is more descriptive to the user.
We also recommend using a descriptive name for the images as well.
Each and every link should be complete in itself and describe where it should go. Try to avoid Click Here, Read Blog, etc and if so then describe it before. For example, if we want to share the link to the current blog then the below code would be more useful and descriptive instead of read this blog or anything else.
Read our blog on <a href="https://lynxsia.com/blog/read/develop-web-accessible-websites-accessibility-guide-and-usage" title="Develop Web Accessible Websites - Accessibility Guide And Usage"/> Develop Web Accessible Websites - Accessibility Guide And Usage </a>
The above code generates the following output
We also recommend using the title attribute for the links as well.
When it comes to the forms, many users with disabilities can't use the mouse and/or keyboard. They depend on the screen readers to understand each input form is needed. To make the form accessible use <label> or aria-label to describe the information it needed. Use <fieldset> to group inputs and <legend> to label the group of inputs.
<fieldset class="first-section"> <legend>Contact Details</legend> <label for="name">Name</label> <input type="text" id="name" name="name" autofocus placeholder="John" autocomplete="on" required> <br><br> <label for="email">Email</label> <input type="email" id="email" placeholder="email@example.com"> </fieldset>
All videos and audio must be properly described. Use captions, subtitles, and transcripts.
<video id="video" controls preload="metadata"> <source src="assets/video.mp4" type="video/mp4" /> <track label="English" kind="subtitles" srclang="en" src="assets/vidoe-en.srt" default /> </video>
For visual disabilities like color blindness, we need to take care of the contrast of the color so that content should be properly visible to users.
For visual disabilities, we need to take care of the animations and transitions to be properly implemented so that they are visual to users. Use moderate speed and duration for the transitions and animations. Whenever possible use controls to handle transitions and animations.
Semantic HTML is very important for making websites accessible. Below are some key points for using HTML semantics for accessibility:
Use a proper and descriptive title for the web page.
Use the proper tag for the header, navigation, main body content, and footer.
Use proper heading tags for the heading instead of faking the heading with CSS.
Try to avoid div for the buttons to make interactive buttons, use button tags instead.
Use tabindex to interactive elements to make them keyboard-navigable. Use tabindex=0 and/or tabindex=-1. Don't use tabindex>1.
Use aria- attribute to give more information to assistive devices. For example, aria-hidden, aria-label, aria-controls, aria-describedby, etc.
Use role attribute to define the purpose of the elements to assistive devices. For example, role="button", role="grid", role="presentation", role="alert", etc.
Use keyboard navigation like enter, tab, and space to navigate the website and check accessibility.
As a developer, we want to create a website that is used by everyone and globally accessible. For this, we must consider the above points while designing and developing the website or may prior to that.
Hope you like the blog. Keep visiting us. Happy coding.
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