Accessibility is among the essential components your website design should have.
It enables you to fulfill your digital and social responsibility as a business and website owner to promote online inclusivity.
That means making your site accessible and usable to all Internet users. No one gets left behind.
Check out these seven must-add accessibility website features.
Accessibility-Enhancing Website Features
Add the following accessibility features to your website, for successful assistive technology compatibility and increased usability for all users.
1. Alt Texts in Visual Content
Inserting alt texts into images helps screen readers understand the message you relay through those visuals.
It is also crucial if the image is your link’s content. Without the alt text, screen readers will only read the visual’s filename when describing the detected hyperlink.
Describe what’s in the image (including any texts) and your intended message.
However, if you publish the image for decorative purposes only, you can leave the alt text empty. This prevents distracting screen readers with insignificant content.
2. Proper Headings
Correct heading structures keep your site content organized and help screen readers to navigate and interpret it effortlessly.
Follow the proper order of headings and separate structure from presentations through cascading style sheets (CSS).
Here are examples of the correct use of headings:
- Using <h1> for the primary page title
- Avoiding skipping heading levels (e.g., proceeding from <h1> to <h3>). This makes screen readers wonder if some content is missing.
3. Logical Hyperlink Texts
When inserting hyperlinks into your content, use words properly describing the page that the links lead to. Avoid merely saying, “Click here,” “Read this,” and similar vague statements.
Visually impaired users use screen readers to scan for links. However, the technologies don’t read them in the context of the page’s content. Relevant descriptive texts explain the link’s context to the visitor.
Present the most unique and related content of the link. Screen reader users usually navigate the list of links by searching through the first letter.
For instance, write “Head to our “About Us” page to learn more about our business.” Then insert the link in the “About Us” phrase.
4. Accessibility-Designed Forms
Screen readers can’t recognize the content type that users should input in a given field unless you properly label it.
Put a well-positioned, descriptive label in every field in your form, e.g., “Full name.” Associate the label text with the field by using the <label> tag or an ARIA property.
Consider these other pointers:
- Users must be able to tab through the form and complete all required fields before reaching the “Submit” button. The tab order must follow the visual order.
- Group similar or related fields together.
- Label required fields by adding ARIA required=”true”. Use ARIA required=”false” for optional fields.
- Notify users of submission confirmation and errors.
- Include error counts in the page title (after the user has submitted). If the person submits a form with errors, lead them to the incorrectly answered fields or a submission page indicating those mistakes. Make it easy for people to navigate those errors.
- Use accessible, spam-free alternatives to CAPTCHA to validate submissions.
5. Limit Color Use for Indicators
Avoid using only colors to indicate required fields and other significant website elements. This can prevent certain users from understanding your intended message.
Conversely, colored indicators may assist other users, such as those with cognitive disabilities, to identify and understand your content.
Meet both needs by using a combination of colors and other visual indicators (such as asterisks), including visual separators (e.g., borders and whitespace).
Leverage other tools to assess color contrast and make your page friendly for persons with low vision or various color blindness levels.
6. Use ARIA Roles and Landmarks (as needed only)
Use native HTML elements to add accessibility information when they are available. Only use ARIA when those elements are missing. For instance:
- Use the HTML label tag rather than aria-labelledby or aria-label.
- Use the native HTML button tag rather than the ARIA role of button.
- Simplify complex, interactive widgets (e.g., date pickers) for screenreader users
- Add alerts to inform screen reader users of dynamic page changes, e.g., search filters and stock tickers.
7. Sensible Keyboard Navigation
For users who can only access content by pressing the tab or arrow keys or using alternative input devices,accommodate their needs by breaking long content with jump lists or anchor links. This helps keyboard-only users to proceed to relevant sections directly. Provide the skip option at the top of every page.
For web pages with local menus and several levels, configure all menus to allow users to access menu items with the keyboard.
Avoid using elements that activate only when users hover over items with their mouse since keyboard-only and screen reader users cannot enable them.
Overlays: All-in-one Web Accessibility Tools
Developers traditionally apply these and other accessibility features through manual coding. However, hiring a developer may not be feasible for all businesses.
This is where overlays come into play.
Using this modern solution allows you to apply all of those features (and more) in one, simple sweep.
Visitors can also customize their site usage according to their specific needs. Accessibility, after all, is not one-size-fits-all.
To maximize the advantages of using overlays, use the most innovative solutions. They have powerful capabilities, e.g., automation and artificial intelligence, making them extra-reliable.
accessiBe’s AI-powered overlay is a leader in the field, as their automated solution covers a wide range of disabilities – more than are listed in the guidelines recommended by the ADA.
Improve your site accessibility by adding these features, especially through dependable overlay solutions, e.g., acessiBe. It can save you time and resources and ensure everyone’s ability to use your website.
Start investing in the best accessibility overlay technology now to experience its long-term advantages fast. You won’t regret it.