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Accessibility in web design: It’s all about how you look at it. Part 2

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In part 1 of our guide, “Accessibility in web design:  It’s all about how you look at it.  Part 1”, we focused on why catering for elderly, and, or, disabled people made good business sense, as well as being about inclusion and fairness. 

It is on the theme of good business that we now come to look at how accessibility in other areas of web design, can improve traffic, create a better experience for the user, make greater profits, and create better reputations.

It is important to remember as both a business person, who utilises a website to sell products and services, and as a designer of a website, that potentially users of your site can view it from all over the world.  By improving language options, to try and cater for everyone, can only be positive in a business sense, as well as more welcoming generally.  So why not create a website that caters for a second language?  I can’t think of a reason either.

Accessibility in web design also looks to creating websites that can be viewed on other devices other than a computer.  This is not just about page readers or personal assistants, but mobile phones too.  Facebook is now available as an option on mobile phones, why not your website too?  This also applies to web-kiosks and televisions.  Do not limit your potential market share or readerships by not factoring in this function. 

Remember too, that if someone is using one of the above devices, or if they are on a laptop, they could well be in an environment which is noisy, or have screen glare.  It is fine to have sound in your web design, but why not have a feature where you can still experience the website, but takes into account that having sound is pointless.  Ok, the user may not get the full treatment, but at least there is less risk of driving them elsewhere.  The big no no for any website.

Though broadband is becoming the connection of choice in the western world, remember that in many other parts of the world, they simply don’t have it.  We all know dial-up connections are much slower, and you do not want to lose people because they have ran out of patience.  Also, some people still have dial-up connections in the western world.  Do not drive them away to the high street, or deny them the chance to join in.  That is really what the web is all about after all.

Accessibility in web design:  It’s all about how you look at it.

If you are still thinking of accessibility as bureaucratic and not much else, let’s take a fresh perspective.  As economic times get harder, it is going to be much harder to attract and retain customers.  This generates a knock on effect whereby the web design industry suffers as a result.   If your catchment – net is spread wide to catch as many potential customers as you can, and if your web design incorporates all of the above facilities, then this will go along way to combat uncertain economic times.  Can  you afford not to implement it.

Hopefully, these two guides have proved useful in opening your minds to why accessibility is positive, important and more than bureaucratic ridiculousness.  If you just bear in mind that 30% of web users require good accessibility in the design, and the more customisable it is, the more people it will reach, then these articles have done there job.

For more information on accessibility see the W3 website.

Accessibility in web design:  It’s all about how you look at it.

One Response to “Accessibility in web design: It’s all about how you look at it. Part 2”
  1. Yla

    This is informative. Thank you so much for this article. I learned so many things from this one.
    I also agree that the accessibility in web design depends on the person looking at it.

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