Why Accessibility Should Be a Priority in Website Design

Website design is the process of creating and organizing the layout, appearance, and content of a website. It encompasses various aspects of web development, including graphic design, user experience (UX) design, and web programming. The goal of website design is to create a website that is aesthetically pleasing, easy to navigate, and provides a positive user experience for visitors.

Accessibility has become a critical aspect of website design in recent years, as the number of people with disabilities who use the internet continues to grow. According to the World Health Organization, approximately 15% of the world’s population lives with some form of disability, and this number is expected to increase as the global population ages.

For many individuals with disabilities, the internet provides a level of independence and freedom that was previously unavailable. However, if websites are not designed with accessibility in mind, they can create barriers that prevent individuals with disabilities from accessing the information and services they need.

We spoke with experts from a leading Atlanta web design company, discussing the exact reasons you should prioritize accessibility in the design of your website. This article is the result of that discussion, so stick around if you want to know all about the importance of accessibility in modern website design. 

Here are just a few of the many reasons why accessibility should be a priority in website design:

Legal compliance

In many countries, including the United States and the European Union, there are laws and regulations that require websites to be accessible to individuals with disabilities. Failure to comply with these regulations can result in lawsuits and financial penalties.

Improved user experience

Making a website accessible not only benefits individuals with disabilities, but it also improves the user experience for all visitors. For example, implementing accessible navigation, alt text for images, and clear and concise language can make a website easier to use for everyone, regardless of ability.

Increased audience reach

By making your website accessible, you can reach a wider audience, including individuals with disabilities, elderly individuals, and people who use assistive technologies, such as screen readers. This can help to increase your brand’s visibility and reach, as well as generate more traffic and sales.

Better search engine optimization (SEO)

Accessibility is also a factor in search engine optimization (SEO), as search engines favor websites that are accessible and user-friendly. For example, implementing accessible navigation and alt text for images can improve your website’s visibility in search engine results and increase your chances of appearing at the top of the list.

Ethical considerations

Finally, making your website accessible is simply the right thing to do. By providing equal access to information and services, you can help to break down barriers and promote inclusivity, both online and off.

How can you make your website more accessible? Here are a few tips to get started:

  1. Use clear and concise language

Make sure your website’s language is clear and concise, using plain language that is easy for everyone to understand. Avoid using jargon and technical terms, and consider using headings and subheadings to help visitors find the information they need more quickly.

  1. Implement accessible navigation

Make sure your website’s navigation is easy to use and accessible to individuals with disabilities. This includes using clear and concise labels, making sure links are easy to click, and implementing keyboard navigation.

  1. Add alt text for images

Alt text is a short description of an image that is displayed if the image cannot be loaded. This is an important aspect of accessibility, as individuals who are visually impaired use screen readers to navigate websites. By including alt text for all images on your website, you can make sure that everyone can access the information they need.

  1. Test your website for accessibility

Finally, it’s important to test your website for accessibility to make sure it meets the needs of individuals with disabilities. There are many tools and resources available that can help you test your website, including online accessibility checkers, screen readers, and accessibility testing software.

Final Thoughts

Incorporating accessibility into your website design process may require some extra effort and resources, but the benefits are well worth it. By making your website accessible, you can improve the user experience, increase your brand’s visibility and reach, and help to create a more inclusive and equitable online community. So why not make accessibility a priority in your next website design project? The impact you can have on the lives of individuals with disabilities is truly invaluable.