When you create an accessible website using best practices for design, development, and content, your website provides a great user experience for everyone.
Accessible websites are a good business practice.
You’ll interact with more website visitors, customers, and clients when they can easily access content on your website.
But what happens when your site isn’t accessible to everyone?
… you may have a fast website with the best content, but it’s all for nothing if people can’t actually use it.
Accessibility: The State of the Web
In this 30-minute Google Chrome Developers video, Senior Web Developer Programs Engineer Rick Viscomi interviews Nektarios Paisios, a programmer on the Chrome Accessibility team, about the importance of web accessibility.
- How a website workflow can create challenges for people with disabilities
- Assistive technology that people use on websites
- Steps web professionals can take to improve website and web app accessibility
- Augmented and virtual reality in relationship to accessibility
Paisios shared excellent nuggets about web accessibility from a developer and personal perspective in the video.
Here are my top takeaways:
- The more accessible your website is, the more usable it is to everyone
- Not everyone uses a mouse to navigate a website and read content on your site. People may use their keyboard, screen reader, switch control, video captions, or podcast transcripts.
- Create consistent patterns on your website by following the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)
- Use semantic HTML elements in your code. Read about the various form input types and controls; they’re all accessible by default.
Did you know an email input field on a form allows assistive technology, like a screen reader, to provide autocomplete suggestions for an email address?
- Test your site with assistive technology (like Chrome’s built-in Chromevox screen reader) to learn what issues website visitors might have on your site
- Use plain language in your content, avoid complex words, explain what abbreviations/acronyms mean on first use. Don’t make abbreviations a puzzle for your readers to solve.
- A website doesn’t know who has a disability. As the web designer/developer, you can create websites that accommodate everyone by taking care to address accessibility challenges.
- Chrome Developer Tools (built into Chrome) can help identify website accessibility issues. Lighthouse (within Chrome Dev Tools) can conduct site accessibility audits and give you list of recommendations.
As a web professional, you can provide solutions to accessibility challenges. Paisios recommends you use best practices and be innovative in your approaches to creating an accessible web.
Want to learn more about web accessibility?
Check out the resource list on the Google Chrome Developers video page as well as