Is your website fancy and have lots of animations? Did you know that all those are costing you money, in terms of lost revenue. There are some things you can do to improve your site but let’s first talk about who has an accessibility then talk about the most common problems on websites.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) there is an estimated 253 million people who live with a vision impairment, and 360 million people (worldwide) have trouble with hearing. Even if your website has one of these issues (vision or hearing) that’s a huge amount of people that will just not be buying from you.
What do those who can’t access your website do? Either they will buy from a competitor or they might sue you. This is because in the USA there is Americans with Disability Act (ADA) which mostly prohibits businesses from not hiring people who have disabilities but in this case it’s because simply the website isn’t handicap accessible or aren’t ADA compliant.
The most common problem those with low vision have is colour contrast. If you have many colours on your site and they look very similar it’s hard for those with low vision to tell where one part of your site ends and the next part begins. There is however a site you can use to test if the colours you are using are good for accessibility. It’s over at WebAIM Colour Contrast Checker.
Font size is something that many people have trouble with, according to a research report by Neilson Norman, sites should use at least 12-point fonts as the default, and all sites should let users increase text size as desired.
Another thing that frustrates many users is the inability to access a site just using the keyboard, as Kevin Purdy writes in ITWorld about. Not all sites allow use, but many popular sites have keyboard shortcuts that you may have trouble finding.
Noise / communication is another thing many companies don’t think about, it’s not just the noise pop-ups that are annoying to many (even those without a disability), it’s making telephone the only option, or having long blocks of content that stop people from coming to your site. There are 5 ways you can make your website more accessible to deaf people at Hearing Like Me.
The UK government has put out a great article on the do and don’ts for designing a website for accessibility, it’s something every business owner should read and think about putting into action.