Why accessibility is important for web design

Accessibility is a top priority when designing a website, especially from an SEO standpoint. It remains one of the biggest trends for website design, not only out of principle for making a website more functional in general but to make sure that everyone, including people with impairment, can access your company's services easily.

Accessibility for dyslexia

Roughly between 15-20% of website users are prone to dyslexia globally. While dyslexia isn’t an impairment of the sensory organs, it is a neurological one as it changes the way the brain perceives both auditory and visual information.

This can make navigating a website particularly difficult, especially if the site’s accessibility is not optimised. There are a number of things a web designer can do to mitigate this, such as;

• Using a good enough contrast

• Making text large enough for easier readability

• Using simple language in text, making it easier to read for people with a range of cognitive abilities

• Using fonts that are easy to read

Accessibility for visual impairment or colour blindness

A website should also be well-optimised for people with a range of visual impairments that can include colour blindness.

There are roughly 300 million people globally that suffer from colour blindness, according to Colour Blind Awareness, 3 million (4.5% of the population) of these people are in the UK.

To alleviate difficulty when using a website, a designer must keep several things in mind, particularly the contrast between colours, texts and images. There should be an easily readable font size, and a layout that’s easy to follow.

Another good rule of thumb is not to use colour alone for conveying meaning. For example, using the colour red to show that an entry on a text field is invalid – someone who suffers from colour blindness may not be able to tell this. Instead, imagery or symbols should be used.

Improving website accessibility can be greatly beneficial to the flow of traffic the site receives, especially when this is made to be more inclusive for people with a range of sensory or neurological impairments. People with such conditions are more likely to be driven elsewhere if this isn’t optimised.

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