Why bother with accessibility?
Not that long ago, a website was a website – it looked the same on any size screen. On a full-size monitor with a mouse it was easy to use, but on a mobile phone you’d always hear people muttering “argh my fat fingers” as they tried to tap miniature links. As mobile phone smart screens and tablets became more popular, websites were developed to appear differently on a smaller screen so that they were easier to use – not just to click on buttons and links, but also so that you could actually read the text without the two-finger zoom. The buzz-word was “responsive” and clients paid to have their websites rebuilt so that they would work on everything from a large monitor to a small hand-held.
Now we develop websites the other way around – it goes without saying that your site will be responsive and work at any size. It’s what clients expect.
But imagine if we were still in the dark ages. Imagine not seeing an image but instead reading “GLG487-2.jpg”. It would mean nothing. Imagine opening a page and reading “div” and “ ” and other goobly-gob scattered throughout the text. You would assume it was full of mistakes, right? What if you simply couldn’t click on a button because it kept disappearing?
It would be very frustrating. Yet this is what it is often like for people who are blind or have low vision and use a screenreader, or those who don’t have the fine motor skills required to move to a sub-sub-across-down-along-dropdown menu. This is why Mydesigner now develops all websites with accessibility as part of the process.
The advantages are aplenty:
- You will broaden your target audience.
- You become inclusive, welcoming people of all abilities.
- You’ll gain users who visit your site …and return.
- People will stay for longer and become more interested.
- You’re letting people know you’re not a dinosaur.
- It’s just kind of fair, you know?
But it’s only for 0.01% of my target audience…
Yes it probably is. As we all are. 0.01% of someone’s target audience. It’s great when someone cares enough to make a difference to one’s life.
Sooo is it going to cost a lot?
For standard accessibility, no. It doesn’t – and shouldn’t – cost any more than a regular website, just as it doesn’t cost extra to make your website responsive.
There are different levels of accessibility and for the gold standard, like anything premium, it takes more expertise and time, therefore costs more. I have built websites for disability organisations whose target audience have varying levels of ability. These sites are tested by their members and we work with the developers of themes and plugins to constantly upgrade their products. Changing the world one step at a time!
Let me recap
- You look good
- Your site looks good
- Your results look good
- Everyone’s happy
What’s not to love? Click here to send me an email to discuss your plans. I’d love to chat.