Ever hear the staying, “Don’t assume because it makes an ass out of u and me?” Well, that principle rings true in the web design world as much as just common sense. So pause, what are we assuming, or not assuming rather? Well for starters, when you are making a website you want it to reach as many people as possible, right? So wouldn’t that also include disabled people and those who use, let’s face it, ancient technology?
The answer, which I hope you all guessed correctly, would be absolutely! Yes! With that being said, let’s dive straight into why ease of access and accessibility is vital to your website.
Why it Matters
As I stated earlier, you want all your content on your beautiful website that you have just spent weeks and weeks on to be enjoyed by everyone, correct? Neat! So then you have thought of people who are color blind? Those who have epilepsy? Or someone who just isn’t as tech savvy as you? Don’t worry, I didn’t even begin to factor it in either at first. But there is no denying how vital it is the sucess of your webpage and subsequently your message/product.
Let’s take for example those with epilepsy. For those of you who don’t know what epilepsy is, it is defined as “a neurological disorder marked by sudden recurrent episodes of sensory disturbance, loss of consciousness, or convulsions, associated with abnormal electrical activity in the brain.”
So what would impair these individuals on a website? According to epilepsy.org.uk, “Some people with photosensitive epilepsy can have a seizure triggered by displays that flicker, flash, or blink. This is particularly the case if the flash has a high intensity and is within certain frequency ranges.”
So what does this mean for us? Essentially it means we have to be conscious of what we put on the website. i.e. no flashing lights. Who needs all that glitz and glamour anyways? Just be direct and to your point with your information.
Now, in regards to accessibility for someone such as an elder or someone who isn’t as tech savvy as you. It is pretty simple. Make your website easy to navigate. Large buttons, easily categorized items, etc. Just those items could mean all the difference for a user!
Ultimately, it isn’t hard to craft your website around these issues. Just be sure to think about your audience and never assume their capabilities or their disabilities.