Web Design And Visual Access – Are You User Friendly?
For web design to be user-friendly, it must be visible. As obvious as this statement may seem, many sites miss important accessibility details that can affect user-friendliness and site effectiveness. Visual access and how it affects users and businesses is an important concept that website designers must address when planning a project. To ensure your online presence is accessible by as many people as possible including those with visual impairments, be sure to work with web designers who understand this concern.
Visual Impairments And Websites
When website designers talk about visual impairments, most assume this means individuals with color blindness, a condition that affects as much as 4.6% of the global population. To people who do not see certain colors in the same way as those with normal vision, everything looks different and can impart different meanings. Color blindness is a concern that must be addressed in web design, yet is not the only visual impairment that must be considered.
Visual impairment also includes low vision, which includes partial sight, blurry vision, tunnel vision, etc. These impairments affect nearly 250 million people along with blindness, which affects nearly 40 million people. When combined, 8.6% of the global population or more than half a billion people are visually impaired and will not see a website as it is intended to be seen.
This can mean that unless your site is designed by experienced and affordable web designers to be accessible by all including those with visual impairments, half a billion people will be unable to see or use it.
Keeping Websites Visually Accessible
Effective web design should achieve business goals and be user-friendly for as many people as possible. Considering how many people are visually impaired, it is essential for website designers to build websites that can be used by all, including those who may not see them the way others do. This can be achieved in the following ways:
- Keep Structure and Content Separate – Web designers must build sites that keep content independent of the site structure to facilitate the use of screen readers and keyboard navigation. This also reduces the chance that content and certain site elements or features will be unintentionally affected or inaccessible when viewed on different devices.
- Use Labels and Other Text Alternatives – In addition to using informative alt-text with all content images, website designers should include text labels and descriptions anywhere else that inability to see color or interpret images is possible.
- Avoid Relying on Color to Create Emphasis – Create emphasis in other ways by using texture, boldness, icons, and text labels. Initially design user interfaces in monochrome to ensure they function well without the use of color.
- Make Text Readable and Recognizable for All – Improve accessibility for those with impairments by using the right amount of contrast, text size, and appropriate font choice. Add video and audio to internet content, use solid graphic elements and avoid outlines. Use familiar and recognizable icons and language, include clear directions or options, and make links obvious by underlining them or using some other type of callout.
For functional and effective web design, work with professional website designers who know how to develop your internet presence that everyone can use, including those with visual impairments. Knowledgeable and affordable web designers can create a site that will help you more easily reach the most people and achieve your business goals!