By: Akshita
August 30 2018

Reaching Out To All: Best Web Accessibility Practices

Ignoring web accessibility standards when developing/ revamping your site means reducing the number of visitors’ possibility at least 19%.

Spending years on perfecting your site’s usability and overall experience for the visitor only means that you don’t want to get stuck at 81%. Right?

That remaining population is millions of people with disabilities who can’t access or engage with sites in the traditional way. The way that you think it must be done. 

The Core Principle of Web Accessibility

POUR is the root of the web accessibility. When working to get the accessibility implemented, the principles of POUR will cover everything. 

The guidelines are set by the W3CG. They lay the foundation for anyone planning to access and use the web content.  

  1. Perceivable - Information and user interface components must be presentable to users in ways they can perceive. This means that users must be able to perceive the information being presented (it can't be invisible to all of their senses).
     
  2. Operable - User interface components and navigation must be operable. This means that users must be able to operate the interface (the interface cannot require interaction that a user cannot perform).
     
  3. Understandable - Information and the operation of user interface must be understandable. This means that users must be able to understand the information as well as the operation of the user interface (the content or operation cannot be beyond their understanding).
     
  4. Robust - Content must be robust enough that it can be interpreted reliably by a wide variety of user agents, including assistive technologies. This means that users must be able to access the content as technologies advance (as technologies and user agents evolve, the content should remain accessible)

Avoid these Mistakes Along the Way

  1. Adding images without Alt text 

    Pictures on your website not only serve the SEO purpose, they can also make your website more accessible to everyone. If images do not display in the browser you used, the ALT attribute provides a description of the contents of the image. 

    One of the attributes of Search Engines use this attribute to determine the suitable image to return for a search query. Web indexes utilize this credit to decide the reasonable picture to return for a pursuit question.
     
  2. Input fields sans label tags

    All input fields must have proper labels to give the users/visitors idea of what information they should enter in a specific input field.

    The info fields must have appropriate names to give the clients/guests idea on what data they ought to enter in a particular information field.
     
  3. Fieldset tag is not used on forms

    The HTML <fieldset> tag is used for grouping related form elements. By using the fieldset tag and the legend tag, you can make your forms much easier to understand for your users.

    Web accessibility in web form is an often an ignored substance. Therefore, it is important to set the fieldset tag must be used to group together the related input fields in the form. 

    The grouping provided by Fieldset also helps the accessibility of forms to those using “aural” browsers by allowing these users can easily orient themselves when filling in a large form.
     
  4. Sharing the same ID

    The value assigned to the id= ”” attribute must be unique to prevent the second instance from being overlooked by assistive technology. Put another way, id attributes may not be used more than once in the same document in order to differentiate each element from another.
     
    ID’s you used in a document must be unique and should be used only once.

Some Best Practices for Web Accessibility

Providing better user experience is at the core of web accessibility. 

  1. Keyboard shortcuts are one of the best ideas for web accessibility designs. The better way is to make keyboard shortcuts available to all users. 

    The idea is to enable accesskey HTML attribute allows web developers to assign certain keyboard shortcuts to web elements. 

  2. Use a for attribute on the <label> element linked to the id attribute of the form element, or using WAI-ARIA attributes. In specific situations, it may be acceptable to hide <label> elements visually, but in most cases labels are needed to help all readers understand the required input.

  3. Provide labels, guidance and instructions, and text alternatives for all non-text content. Controls or input fields must have a name describing their purpose.

  4. Support all pre-recorded audio content with sign language interpretation and provide extended audio descriptions for all prerecorded video content where there’s no opportunity to pause the foreground audio and provide audio descriptions.

  5. Ensure the security of legal and financial data transactions by making them reversible, and giving the user an opportunity to recheck the input data and the confirmation mechanism before finalizing submission.

  6. In case of an input error made by the user, provide text information specifying the item in error and the error itself.

  7. Avoid the use of text captcha, wherever possible. In the case of text, captchas need to provide the audio for the hearing disabled people. 

  8. Use colors that convey visual information, distinguishing visual components, indicating actions or prompting for a response.

Opening up to accessibility means, opening up to more conversion opportunities you were unaware of missing on. Drop a mail at [email protected] to discuss more on the accessibility.