6 Easy Ways to Make Your UI More Accessible

  • January 7, 2021
  • Misc
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There’s no doubt that digital items have actually transformed the world. In our life time we’ve concerned see access to the web stated a human right.

We are constantly simply a couple of clicks far from apparently unlimited details. We can do whatever from paying our taxes and purchasing groceries, to engaging with our federal governments and finishing a degree online. Despite this, not all digital experiences are available.

While lots of think about individuals with impairments to be a little subset of their users, this is a misconception. Almost 1 in 5 Americans has a disability. 54% of Americans with impairments browse the web. Thankfully, the world is beginning to acknowledge that the web ought to be developed for everyone.

An accessible website is one that is developed and coded, individuals with impairments can utilize them. It is very important that designers consider availability when working to produce instinctive interface and experiences.

Currently, only public sector websites must comply with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0, which holds websites to accessibility standards that are similar to those set for the built environment. In the next year, and for years to come, we will see pressure put on the private sector to begin to comply.

The Interaction Design Foundation explains that there are five key usability areas to consider: visual, motor/ability, auditory, seizures, and learning. There are people of all backgrounds using your site or app who hope to find what they want as quickly and easily as anyone else would.

Here are some things to make your website more accessible.

Allow users to resize pages & content

Users are viewing your product from various screens on many different devices. We enjoy crafting experiences in which users can resize content to adjust to their needs. Imagine this scenario: A user inputs information into a field, and the page automatically zooms into the field. In this position, the user should have the ability to zoom out or in to assure the action they’re taking. Making this easily doable creates a seamless experience.

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Make the search bar easy to locate & use

As we discussed in our 2019 trends presentation for the Beer and UX meetup, a prominent, easy to use search bar is something large brands are putting to good use.

A common goal of user experience is to minimize the effort necessary for the user to complete a task, such as limiting the amount of clicks required to enter information into a search bar. For example, on the Tidal streaming platform, one click on the search symbol not only leads you to the search page, but it also opens up the keyboard so you can type in your query.

Instead of two clicks — click the search icon, click search bar — it anticipates you want to search for information and has the keyboard open automatically.

Add alt text to every image

The benefits of alt tags extend beyond SEO. Alt text makes it easy for people with visual impairments to understand your images. This is especially crucial for images that aren’t purely decorative.

According to Moz, the alt text should be kept short. Because most screen readers cut off the text at about 125 characters, it’s advisable to keep it at or below that number. Instagram made headlines in 2018 when they finally introduced an alt text function on their platform. This move, among others, was an early signal that accessible UI isn’t a trend — it’s standard.

Use section headings

Just like a book, or a street sign, digital products are expected to deliver information in a way that organizes, guides and moves the user to the next step.

Section headings, like a subtitle in a blog, or at the top of a page, help users remember what they are reading. In a WebAIM survey, 67% of respondents said they preferred to navigate through the headings on the page. This finding ranked higher than using the “find” feature, navigating through the links of the page, and reading through the entire page.

Use color contrast

Perhaps an overlooked item, using the right color contrast to ensure maximum readability is essential to making your UI more accessible. There are times where you’ll find that your text doesn’t have enough contrast with the background or your type size doesn’t compliment its contrast. When looking to make colors more accessible, use the following resources to know you’re doing it right. We love resources including Kevin Gutowski’s site, Web Aim, and Contrast app.

This way considers users who have difficulty finding menu items: knowing what tab they are hovering over and understanding where they are on the site. A possible solution is when a user hovers over the menu item on a page, the screen reader reads aloud that particular button by reading the link text.

Intuitively, the user clicks on this item and is led to their page of choice. It is also recommended to provide generous sizes for clickable locations, no smaller than 44px by 44px. Menu navigation is one of the most important of any site, regardless of the use case. Similar to utilizing alt text to include descriptions for images, link texts can aid with products that refer to the user’s navigation.

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