Designing for Accessibility: Inclusive Practices in Web Development

As per an online survey, almost three-quarters of specially-abled online consumers (roughly 69%) click away from a website due to its lack of accessibility. That’s not all! Another survey conducted in pre-Covid times showed that close to 4 million people abandoned a UK-based retail website due to web barriers (a common feature of badly designed websites), which took away a potential revenue of £11.75 billion!! Inclusivity is no longer a niche term. It is today’s demand, especially when you are targeting your customers (from general users to people with disabilities)! 

By the end of this post, you will get an idea of the hurdles that are blocking your website from becoming accessible to one and all and the best practices to improve your website’s design. 

What are the challenges that users face on websites? 

The common hurdles that most users face are – 

  • Lack of alternative texts (Alt Text) in case of images. When there are none, the visually impaired and cognitively disabled readers are immediately excluded from the digital fold. 
  • Inadequate color contrast. This creates issues for specially challenged individuals. 
  • Absence of descriptive links. The users (both general and those requiring the assistance of technologies) do not find the content useful, and there is no way to proceed, automatically taking them away from the website. 
  • Semantic HTML markup is not being used. This causes an issue in the navigability of the websites and diverts away web traffic. 

Therefore, you must resolve these issues to expand the website’s reach. For the same, your brand/website requires a credible web design company that is ready to resolve the queries and look into the loopholes to enhance its inclusivity. 

How does a company make your website inclusive? 

In this section, you will get an idea about the ‘key’ aspects that any reputed website designing agency works on to ensure that the website they design becomes ‘inclusive and accessible.’ 

  • Concentrate on the structure of the website 

The first point that the website designer needs to check on is – the website’s structure. From setting the semantic HTML to creating hyperlinks to credible websites to providing alt texts and tags for the images, there’s a lot one needs to concentrate on. 

Apart from that, checking the ethical and legal aspects of any website is also crucial. Therefore, the experts concentrate on creating a robust and attack-proof website that is sustainable in the long run and accessible to one and all (despite the physical challenges of ) consumers. 

  • Understand the target audience 

The next factor that the website designing specialists concentrate on is – the target audience. Every website has two kinds of audience – loyal patrons and a ‘potential pool of clients.’ So, when you are designing a website, you need to increase the range of that potential customer-turned-client-turned-patron. For that, the website’s navigability and content availability are must-have features. Those are the areas that website designers concentrate on.

  • Customization is the key to inclusivity 

If your website is similar to the others within the same market, then how do you get your clients (and patrons in the future)? That’s exactly the point that a noted website designing agency keeps in mind and creates one in tune with the WCA (web content accessibility) guidelines. In this way, the range of acceptance of that website increases, which directly affects the web traffic (an increase in the same) and converts to higher revenue. 

  • Ease the layout of the website 

You must be aware of the need to have a perfectly colored layout of the website. For the record, more than a ‘normal’ user, an individual who is visually challenged needs it more. A mismatched shaded font or a lack of color contrast could hamper their access to that website. 

This is where the expertise of a reputed set of professionals comes to the forefront. They know the issues and thereby create a layout that suits the requirements of one and all – the general users and the differently-abled. 

  • Using the attributes of ARIA  

For the novice, ARIA is the acronym for Accessible Rich Internet Applications, which implies a specific set of attributes, which, when included in HTML, enhances web accessibility. When the company creates a website that includes this, it transfers crucial information to the assistance technologies. Hence, specially-challenged individuals can, with the help of such technologies, swipe through the website and place their demands on par with the regular customers. 

These are some of the key features that a reputed website designing company takes into account when it designs websites for multiple businesses. 

Some cautionary measures before deciding 

Assuming you have read this post, you have clarity about the hurdles that are driving away your traffic and the respite that a noted website designing company can provide. However, before you choose any specific organization, it is time to keep certain factors in mind – 

  • Always check the company’s portfolio, its market reviews, and the comments that its users have made online. 
  • Getting a demo website from the concerned company is a must! That is how you will comprehend if they are being able to cater to your target audience and more. 
  • The experience that the company has (in terms of its on-field work) and the efficiency levels of its customer service team are crucial decision-makers. 
  • Lastly, the pricing is the key factor. If the company is offering a price that is ridiculously low compared to the market rates, then that is a red flag! Inclusive website design does come with a price tag.  

To enhance your brand power in the online landscape, tick off these key factors before you decide to connect with a web designing company. 

Parting words 

Standing in current times, when the scope of online sales has increased manifold, the key to success is to have a website that is ‘consumer-driven’, ‘navigable’, ‘catchy’, and ‘includes every stratum of society in terms of accessibility.’ As a brand, you need to find a credible website designing agency that would keep your target audience and the needs of the day in mind while developing your landing pages. As they say, when you are within the sight, you are in people’s minds. 


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