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Web accessibility and its pros in web design

In Web Design | on April, 11, 2011 | by | 0 Comments

Web accessibility is often used to refer to the ability of a website to be accessible to different types of users regardless of their physical ability or mode of accessing the internet. Web accessibility in conjunction with Disability Discrimination Act; require that a website be accessible not only to the physically able users but also to the disabled as well. The accessibility of a website is a benefit not just to the users but also to the webmaster as well. Web accessibility covers several areas that are detailed in this article.

The first aspect is visual disability which deals with web accessibility for visually disabled users. Visual disability ranges from color blindness to full blindness. Color blind users are unable to discern certain colors. If these colors are used together to create contrast, the color blind person might not be able to discern the contrast. They might also have difficulties discerning colors used in text that are out of their visual ability. If you have to use colors that cannot be visualized by color blind people in images, accompany the image with a text description. As for the fully blind people, the site they are viewing needs to be built to accommodate them through a non visual browser for example a screen reader. The screen reader is able to read text aloud to the visually impaired person but the webmaster needs to be sure that the accurate message is being conveyed by the screen reader.

People with hearing disabilities also experience difficulties accessing the web especially when the output has to do with sound. To cater for this people, provide a text description for anything that is being communicated through sound. The other category of people is the physically disabled. Perhaps this is one of the most ignored areas in terms of accessibility. Disabled people might be unable to use a mouse to scroll through a site but rarely will the web designer stop to think about how accessible the site they are designing is, without a mouse.

Beyond physical disabilities, the accessibility of a website can be hampered by overly complex designs that make it almost impossible for any visitor who is not a designer to find information. Accessibility also covers users accessing the net using different browsers, devices or even slow internet connections. You need to optimize your site for devices such as mobile phones and desktops with lower screen resolutions, different browsers and also for not just people using high speed cable internet but also for those using dial up modems.

Making sure your site is accessible to every other internet user can be very beneficial for your site. Some of the advantages that come along with accessibility include increased business growth, increased recognition of your brand and equity, uniformity, easy and affordable maintenance as well as improved user experience. This could see the traffic of your website grow by the day and night and your site goals met with relative ease increasing your site conversion rates tremendously.

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