Web accessibility is exactly what you think it is; a websites capability to reach different users on different devices, occasionally however, a website may not be entirely accessible. consider the range of technologies within the market- there will no doubt be some issues with some websites however in today’s competitive web design industry, designers and developers are urged to consider every need and requirement a user may face.
Originally web accessibility focused on users with disabilities; those who use speech browsers, have low vision or any cognitive or motion disabilities should be considered. A website designed to accommodate those who may have some difficulties is important however today accessibility also refers to users in different situations.
There are many reasons as to why a website cannot be fully accessed however the main issues include:
- Old browser (not updated to include new features etc.)
- Slow internet connection
- No flash or java
- Browsing with no graphics
- Different device
A website is designed to target users and encourage them to either purchase a product or service or continue accessing further information or even engaging in dialogue with a company; however without adequate access, users will no doubt immediately switch off.
Whatever the website, all web designers and developers must account for potential the needs and situations that a user may be in…
- What device is being used to access the site?
- What browser is being used? What if the user does not have the latest update?
- What if the device being used does not have the appropriate plug-in/software? (Apple famously does not allow Adobe FlashPlayer to run on its devices)
- What if my user has low vision or any cognitive disability?
By considering all of the potential situations a website can improve and open itself up to all of the different users, immediately increasing its chances of expanding its growth. Accessible websites are also generally easier to navigate and use, effectively making them easier for search bots to read and ultimately rank.
The internet has become an integral part of business life and as a result an increasing number of people are venturing online to find products, services and information. Remember however that all of these users won’t be arriving to your site in the same way so anticipate, think ahead and consider the various scenarios to ensure your site is accessible to all and does not lose out.