An Overview Of Accessibility and Inclusivity Best Practices for a Website Blog
By Tom Seest
Digital inclusion goes beyond meeting technical accessibility standards (unless it’s mandatory, such as for government websites). Instead, it means understanding and designing for all forms of human diversity.
To do so, this means adding alt text and captions to images and videos as well as breaking large chunks of content down into more manageable portions.
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Website blogs can serve as more than a place for sharing interesting articles and company updates; they can also be an effective marketing tool when combined with SEO best practices and an organized content creation process. Companies using such methods see 67% more traffic and conversions compared with those not employing such measures.
For your blog to succeed, it’s essential that you understand who your target audience is and their needs. Knowing this will allow you to tailor your writing according to their expectations and increase engagement. For instance, if most of your readership consists of people with low literacy levels, short paragraphs, and simple language may help improve their reading experience.
Individuals of various abilities and sensory preferences each have individual requirements when using the Internet. For instance, people who are blind or have low vision often utilize screen reader software to access websites; this software converts printed text into synthesized speech or braille characters, so you need to ensure that your website is accessible to this audience.
Include images depicting people from diverse backgrounds and cultures when blogging to make your content more inclusive. This will create a sense of inclusion among your readership, especially among underrepresented populations such as students from science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines who feel excluded by their course materials that lack diversity. One STEM educator recently noted how their students were misled into thinking they didn’t belong there due to the lack of diversity within these subjects.
Consideration of these needs is of the utmost importance, but it should also be noted that non-inclusive websites could have legal ramifications. Websites that fail to adhere to ADA compliance risk losing customers or being subjected to lawsuits.
There are many free and straightforward tools available online that can assist in making websites more accessible, including Sort Site (a site grader that scans for errors and suggests changes), WCAG 2.0 guidelines (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines), as well as resources such as the Accessible Media Framework 2.0.
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As a content creator, you’ve likely encountered the buzzwords “accessibility” and “inclusion.” While these concepts may feel daunting at first, there are simple strategies you can employ to make your blog more inclusive for all readers.
Navigation of content and website navigation are both essential elements to increasing accessibility for online visitors. Implementing a site map and an organized menu structure will make it easy for them to locate what they’re seeking quickly and effortlessly while setting up a search bar with relevant terms makes content discovery simpler for readers browsing your website.
Many disabilities affect how people use and view websites. Epilepsy patients, for instance, are particularly sensitive to flashing or moving images on websites – this is why it’s crucial to follow the Three Flash Rule and avoid animating anything that could trigger seizures on your site.
As part of content creation, it is also vitally important to take color contrast and font size into account when designing your website. When choosing fonts, opt for ones that are easy for all people – including those with low vision – to read. Font sizes should also be legible enough; any text under 40px should be avoided on your site. It may also help to use an online contrast checker like Webflow Vision preview mode before making decisions regarding colors.
Make sure that your content is tagged appropriately, using appropriate alt text and header tags, to allow assistive technology to understand it better and also for SEO reasons. This can greatly improve assistive technology comprehension as well as SEO ranking factors.
Header tags on websites serve to clearly communicate the main topic of a page, so it is crucial that they are included correctly. If you need assistance writing header tags correctly, there are plenty of resources online that can help.
Making your blog more accessible will not only benefit your audience but will show customers and leads that you value their individuality. Furthermore, it can draw new people in while driving traffic back to your business.
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Websites should be user-friendly for both navigation and reading, making the content easily comprehensible to readers with visual impairments or reading disabilities. One easy way to increase accessibility on a website is simply removing distractions and creating clearer text; this enables visitors to comprehend what they’re reading and find what they need more quickly. As such, websites often feature short paragraphs with plenty of white space between paragraphs as well as fonts which are easy for these audiences. This also ensures legible text for visually impaired readers as well as for users without impairment.
Utilizing user-centered design methods is another essential way to build more inclusive websites. This process includes including individuals with disabilities in the design process and iterating according to their feedback, which provides designers with a better understanding of the obstacles people with disabilities encounter when engaging with websites, as well as helping them craft products that are truly inclusive.
One way of increasing accessibility on your website is through alt text. This feature is especially crucial for images as users who depend on screen readers can use them to navigate and understand your content more easily. Therefore, best practices must be applied when creating the alt text, such as providing details about its purpose or offering contextual details about its subject matter.
Furthermore, it’s essential not to rely on color or imagery alone when conveying information. While this can be challenging, keep in mind that not everyone experiences your content the same way – use multiple methods such as text, graphics, and code so all users understand your information clearly.
Finally, it’s essential that forms on your site provide accessible error messages when submitting forms. Error messages that are clear, concise, and in a consistent format will assist those with cognitive or auditory limitations in understanding what went wrong with their submission and can reduce frustration while increasing visitor retention rates over time.
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An accessible website is critical for all users, but especially for people living with disabilities. Such visitors could suffer from visual impairment, mobility limitations, or cognitive issues that impede understanding jargon and complex information. When brands prioritize inclusivity, they demonstrate they care about meeting customer needs and making life simpler for all their visitors.
There are various strategies you can employ to make your content more accessible, such as using clear and concise language, avoiding unnecessary jargon and acronyms, and making sure all images contain alt texts. Other possible steps include providing captions for videos as well as eliminating blinking/flashing content on websites – which could cause seizures in some people.
Accessibility and inclusivity best practices not only benefit those who visit your website, but they’re also great for SEO. Search engines such as Google favor websites that follow these guidelines for optimal user experience – by making your website accessible, you will gain an edge over those who don’t take this approach.
As a nonprofit organization, it’s your duty to ensure all people can access and engage with your website. Without accessibility features on your organization’s benefits website, potential supporters could miss learning about your work, donating to causes they support, and participating in initiatives planned.
However, it doesn’t have to be difficult. There are a few simple strategies you can employ in your website design that will ensure inclusivity and accessibility. Best practices are put into effect: first, make sure the contents are fully responsive on all devices; next, add alt text for images and use tools like Kapwing or CaptionFairy to caption videos hosted on your site; finally, ensure that navigation menus are easily understandable with clear labeling for videos you host – these steps will make your site more accessible while increasing its search engine presence.
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