Accessible Web Design: Don’t forget customers with disabilities

accessible web design

According to a recent government study, almost a quarter of New Zealanders are disabled – that’s about 1.1 million people. About half a million Kiwis have hearing, vision, problems or motor impairments. That means accessible web design critical. Is your website friendly to these potential customers?

What is accessible web design?

We’ve discussed why designing your website for mobile is a must. Now we want to shed some light on why your site design should also take into account customers with disabilities.

Web accessibility is about making your site and its design inclusive. Making your site accessible increases your potential audience and gives them a better experience.

And New Zealand isn’t alone. Governments around the world – like the UK, the EU, and the US – expect website design to be accessible to people with disabilities. So, if your business bids for government contracts, they’ll expect you to be compliant from the beginning.

You’re missing out on valuable customers

But it’s not just government projects that are affected by accessible design standards – it could also affect your bottom line. Our ageing population as well as Māori and Pacific people are the most likely to be afflicted by disabilities. Which means if you want to target these segments, you need to be prepared to help them get around your site.

Accessible web design tips

Here are just a few of the things you should consider when trying to make your website more accessible for people with disabilities.

  • Use alt text to describe important images, but leave alt text for decorative images blank.
  • Use HTML tables only for data, not for layouts.
  • Don’t use video or audio that starts automatically.
  • Be aware that some users may need to magnify a site 200% to view it.
  • Always provide keyboard navigation options.
  • Avoid flashing visual content that can trigger seizures.

At Prefer, we’re experts at web development and design. So if you’d like more help with accessible design, shoot us an email.


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