What is an accessible website?
Web accessibility means access to web content for all people (including those with visual or hearing disabilities, etc.), regardless of the media (mobile, tablet, etc.) and the environment (noise level, lighting, etc.). The challenge is therefore to take into account all the conditions of consultation when creating the website and its content.
The very definition implies that a good accessible site is designed with this in mind from the very first stages. In fact, the accessibility of a site will be determined at various levels:
- in the structuring of the navigation and the architecture of the website in an easily understandable way (sitemap)
- in the choice of colors and shapes of elements, buttons, content blocks, graphic designs, etc. (UX and UI design)
- in the way text content is written: the shorter it is, the easier it is for any user to understand; adopt a clear hierarchy of titles, subtitles, body text, etc.
- in the detail given to visual media (images and videos): avoid illustrations with text included (unreadable for both a browser and a visually impaired person); fill in
- alternative texts for images, insert subtitles in videos, etc.
To judge the accessibility of your site, think of extreme situations – a person with foggy glasses on a crowded and noisy public transport, reaching out to try to read your latest news on their smartphone with a broken screen. If your page passes this test, you’re there!
In Belgium, the AnySurfer label distinguishes accessible platforms. To obtain this label, you have to apply for it and then, depending on the diagnosis, make the necessary adaptations.
Bonus: having an accessible website seems complicated to you? It’s a trick you’ll have to take, and you’ll see: an accessible site is a site that the search engines will find more easily… so it’s also a guarantee of a better SEO!