Accessible Web Design: 5 Ways to Design Inclusive Websites
Article by Cyd Cruz
Graphics Design by Ryan Rivera
Any website that was developed properly will understand the importance of good user experience. User experience, UX for short, is a user’s attitude and reactions when using a particular website, service, or product and it determines the quality of your website based mainly on these factors.
When users feel at home and welcome when visiting your website, chances are they’ll come to visit again and maybe even get their friends and family to check you out! The problem comes once your website starts to gain traction and more visits and more users from all walks of life start flocking in. Only then will it become clear that some features on your website can have the possibility to alienate or even drive away from some audiences.
In this article, we aim to provide some pointers on how to properly design inclusive and easily-accessible websites that will help your users feel at home when they navigate your site.
5 ways to design inclusive websites
Make it simple
While it may be tempting to fill up your webpage with a myriad of designs, colors, and flashy images, take a moment to think about your user’s state of mind or their current condition. Most users browse the internet as a method of relaxation, and for some people, being overloaded with designs will be more of a negative than a positive. Even if they are there to seek for specific services, most wouldn’t have the patience to go through walls of flashy imageries just to find out if you can actually offer what they’re looking for or not.
You can also opt to keep links as informative as possible, so as to give the user an idea of what’s in store for them should they decide to click it. Nothing gets more annoying than links in the middle of sentences that read “here”, “click here”, or “visit now.”
With these in mind, ensure that your website’s design and layout are as simple as can be, while still maintaining the eye-catching aspects of your website. Too many banners, visual imageries, choices, prompt, and pop-ups may end up overwhelming your already-tired and stressed out user. Keep it simple and straight to the point. The less complex your website looks, the more inclusive it will be for users from all walks of life.
Remove time constraints
If your service requires users to fill up forms or answer questionnaires or surveys, it would be best to completely do away with the time constraints or those prompts that automatically kick them out of the form due to inactivity. Setting impractical time limits for answering forms won’t do your users any good, especially if they’re already stressed out.
Keep in mind that they’re checking out your service because they think it’ll be convenient for them, so don’t scare them away by “rushing” them into completing an action and let them finish at their own pace!
It might seem like spoon-feeding, but the fact of the matter is that people interpret messages and understand instructions differently, no matter how clearly-written they may seem. Leaving everything to uncertainty is a huge no-no, so ensure that the contents of your site properly explains what will happen after a user performs a certain action and to provide the support they need in order to properly complete something.
Be sure to also clarify important details. For example, if your website acts as an online store, show every important detail of a product you’re selling from price, payment methods, color, specifications, size, model, and many others. Another helpful way to provide clarity is to also provide a list of all their answers before they finish completing an action, that way they can double-check whether or not the answers they provided are the ones they wanted to stick with.
Also Read: Top 10 Important Features You Need to Have in Your Website by Verz Design
Create a sense of community
One of the biggest mistakes you can commit when designing websites is to assume that your existing audience can also qualify as a community. An audience listens to you and views your product or service but don’t necessarily interact with each other, whereas a community actively engage each other, as well as with a person acting as a figurehead for the service or product.
A wider sense of community within your website will help users integrate well and feel that they belong, especially since online communities have been widely used to dissipate feelings of isolation and loneliness. Reply to follower messages, and maybe even consider building your next content based on what they submit. Show your users that you care and that you listen! Keep on engaging and never think that your time is more valuable than theirs. Remember, they’re the reason why you have a user base in the first place. Set an example in being more inclusive and the rest of them will follow suit. Building trust and familiarity will do wonders for your users even if you lack chat rooms and forums for discussion on your website.
Provide support to those with low vision
Most people with disabilities have trouble viewing content on the internet as it is, especially if what they’re suffering through limits their ability to see, read, hear, or understand what message is being sent. Ensure that your user-friendly design extends to those with disabilities! Large call-to-action buttons, options to enlarge website font, and even something as simple as captions for video content can make the biggest differences when designing inclusive websites.
Moreover, providing support can also be a welcome change for users. Even simple reminders that their caps lock is turned on when typing down their passwords can help them greatly. Keep in mind that every possible mistake that can be committed will most likely be committed by users navigating around your website, so be sure to provide guidelines!
The importance of designing inclusive websites
It’s important to understand that expecting users to adjust to your web design instead of opting to be inclusive isn’t the way to go and isn’t customer-friendly. This is why designing inclusive websites for these individuals is important not only for our own growth but for their development as well.
Do keep in mind, though, that people going through these problems aren’t looking to be coddled. What they need isn’t special treatment, but the acknowledgment that what they’re feeling is normal and that we, as reputable web developers, will always be there to assist them whenever they need it.
Gotafflair’s expertise in designing inclusive websites
Here at Gotafflair, we pride ourselves on our ability to design inclusive websites that can cater to the needs of our community while making a meaningful difference to the lives of our users. If you’re looking for assistance on your website, then we’ve got your back! Contact us and let’s discuss what we can do.
Let’s make the internet more inclusive for everyone! Need help finding out how? Give us a ring at 7798 8195 or link up with us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free consultation!