So you’re building a website. Now let’s make sure you’re thinking about accessibility.
1. Are you communicating information primarily through color?
YES → FAIL NO → Question 2
Color is an important part of visual communication, but should not be the sole means. For example, it’s a common practice to indicate errors with the color red. However, this may prove problematic to those who are colorblind or who otherwise would not be able to distinguish color. Therefore, if color is used, it should only be as an additional reinforcement to other visual and content cues.
2. How’s your text/background contrast? Test it now.
WCAG AA FAIL → FAIL PASS → Question 3
When text appears faint against a similarly colored background, it becomes hard to read, especially at smaller sizes.
3. Do you have alt text for images?
NO → FAIL YES → Question 4
The visually impaired must use assistive technologies when visiting websites to read out content. As such, images cannot be understood by these tools unless there is supplemental text either in the form of alt (“alternative” text), or an accompanying caption or label explaining the purpose or content of the image. Alt text is not required if the image is purely decorative.
4. Have you avoided large sections of center-aligned text?
NO → FAIL YES → Question 5
It is more difficult to read center-aligned text than left-aligned text. Having an aligned left edge in text makes it easier for the eye to find the start of the next line, as it will always be in the same place.
5. Are your buttons/CTAs at a height of 44px?
NO → FAIL YES → Question 6
Interactive elements should be at least 44px wide and tall. This serves two purposes: 1.) it may incorporate larger text, which eases reading; and 2.) it allows the control to be more easily selected for those with motor impairments.
6. Do your animations/carousels feature 3-per-second flashing over any area of the screen?
YES → FAIL NO → Question 7
7. Is your linking text an accurate description of the link destination?
NO → FAIL YES → CONGRATS, you’re on the way to accessibility.
This is a good idea on several fronts: 1.) It usually gives your user more to click on, increasing the likelihood that they do 2.) it describes what’s going to happen when the user does click on it; and 3.) it provides additional SEO value.
If you said “yes” to all seven questions, full ADA- and WCAG-compliance isn’t far off.
To ensure you’re designing with all users in mind, simply shoot us an email, include your site’s URL, and we’ll quickly turn around a detailed report with guidance for getting compliant.