UX web design and accessibility are closely related. The accessibility of a website for people suffering from some form of disability allows them to experience the full potential of a website and access the information they are searching for. Today, websites that adhere to ADA Website Compliance standards follow the legal obligations of providing access to their content for people with disabilities thus ensuring social responsibility.
The majority of us are unable to go a day without access to the internet. Whether it’s to read the latest news, check social media profiles or send a work email - the truth is that in today’s society the internet has become essential to our existence, which we are unable to live without. For people living in developed nations, the internet is ubiquitous and is easily accessible for a substantial number of tasks we conduct daily.
But, what about people with disabilities? 1 in 4 American adults suffer from some form of disability - ranging from walking difficulties to deafness or blindness. So how do people with impaired vision, hearing, or neurological conditions manage to use the internet?
What Precisely Is UX Web Design?
User experience (UX web design) is the process of creating an easy-to-navigate website for visitors. Websites should be designed in a way that will be suited to their target customers and provide a solution to any queries they may have. Creating a website while taking the UX into consideration requires extensive research to discover who the potential customer is and what their requirements are. To fully accommodate this, information architecture, user research, branding, visual design, and content should be assembled into a unique customer experience.
What Is Website Accessibility?
Website accessibility is a web format that combines tools and technologies to enable people with various disabilities to operate them. Today web accessibility provides visually impaired people with the ability to hear and research information, in a much more accessible way than ever before. When the internet wasn’t as popular as it is today, and websites didn’t prioritize the accessibility of their sites, people with impaired sight had to rely on libraries that possessed brail newspapers and audiotapes. In addition to that, if they wanted to research anything, they had to depend on others. Websites with accessibility features grant blind people the ability to hear articles, newspapers, and documents (to name a few) that they are searching for, with the help of a screen reader software.
People who suffer from hearing difficulties or are deaf can nowadays rely on technologies allowing them to rely on captions and transcripts, to interpret what would otherwise be heard.
There are also people with motor disabilities who might rely on additional physical instruments to access the internet’s content fully. However, this requires websites to be easy to navigate.
Another type of disability is a cognitive one, which results in people’s impaired ability to focus and fully concentrate on what a specific website might convey. Thankfully, accessible websites can address this difficulty.
As technology advances, so does the number of websites that provide accessibility features to its audience. Nowadays, the majority of websites offer accessibility features to accommodate the greatest number of people who can access their content and do so in a way that will be easy to manage.
How Can You Combine the Two?
UX web design is meant to present a website in an esthetical, sophisticated manner. In contrast, websites concentrating on providing accessibility mainly dedicate their budgets to allow everyone equal access to their website. However, combining the two nowadays is easily possible. Websites that are ADA-compliant follow a particular set of guidelines that are all-user-friendly.
They focus on being able to navigate the entire website using a keyboard. People with disabilities most often own a specialized keyboard, which makes it easier for them to use their computers.
Focus on HTML for screen readers. HTML readers are programs that translate text into speech, so make sure your website possesses the correct formatting, to enable that feature.
The Americans with Disabilities Act also suggests the use of touch controls to navigate the web, which allows people with mobility impairments to navigate throughout the website. Websites should leave enough space between text and features, to enable easy and smooth navigation throughout its content.
In addition to that, when designing an accessible website, always follow a checklist that will allow you to tick all the boxes so that it can be equally accessible to all kinds of users.
Today, companies should follow website accessibility guidelines not only to adhere to the legal standards but also to support a social responsibility norm, ensuring everyone gets equal access to the information provided. With the increasing technological advancements, it is easier than ever before to design a website that also follows the accessibility of industrial standards.
Providing equal access to all users ensures that any form of discrimination is limited and that no population group is excluded from the equal opportunities of accessing information.
Further Reading: THE PERIGON METHOD