Web Design For Accessibility
January 26, 2023
Accessibility in a Digital World
Article courtesy Dale Keipert, 3Sixty Interactive, Inc.
There are many reasons why we choose the colors we do when designing digitally. Colors, content, incentives, and calls to action for a brand all demand attention. Website visitors can prioritize all of that information with the aid of our color choices, which can also direct them to the key areas of each web page. But what about users who are unable to see or identify color?
If accessibility is not fully considered in a design, a significant demographic of your target audience may not be able to view your content to its full potential. Simply choosing the appropriate colors to ensure that text has enough contrast will greatly increase the likelihood that people will be able to view your website.
As a digital agency, we are making use of tools that increase accessibility to our clients’ audiences, and through the use of those tools we are able to allow those with color vision-deficiencies, to have more accessibility to digital content.
Creating Accessibility to a Color Vision Deficient Audience
If you are concerned about color vision-deficient visitors being able to view your website or social media content, let us help you improve the accessibility of your content. We have tools in our toolkit that allows us to see through the lens of those with color vision deficiencies and how they may see certain colors.
There are 8 different types of color vision deficiencies, and we consider all of these deficiencies during our design process to ensure our clients’ entire audience is able to access their digital content.
The Different Types of Color Vision Deficiencies:
Take a look at one of our agency’s social media posts below. You can see just how much certain colors are captured through the eyes of someone with color vision deficiency. We take a look at each type of color deficiency with great detail to make sure there is enough contrast between the selected colors and text. Although those with a color deficiency won’t be able to see the exact colors we intended the post or webpage to have, what we can do is ensure that they will be able to read the content on the page and gather the same information someone without a color-deficiency can.
By putting us in the shoes of someone who has a color vision deficiency, we are able to see through their lens and notice parts of a design that may be challenging for them to see. It is very important for us as digital marketers to have the work that we create, accessible to as many people as possible. We use the experimentation of colors and elements to help us create a design that is accessible to more people in the digital world.
What we need to know about Accessibility in Digital Design?
Accessibility is and should not be a barrier to innovation.
Often times with accessibility in mind, designers can feel constricted while designing and are left not liking their design. It is important to us as digital marketers to not design for our design peers but for the diverse audience that will interact with our design. We embrace all accessibility guidelines as we would any set of design constraints, which challenge us to create an amazing design outcome.
Color is not the only visual means of conveying information.
By utilizing other visual means such as shapes, bold text, underlines, italics, etc., we are able to create a design that is perceivable to all where everyone can distinguish colors from one another.
Be sure to ensure sufficient contrast between text and its background.
If there is not a sufficient contrast between text and its background, it can be much harder for users who are unable to, or have difficulty with distinguishing colors from one another. According to the WCAG, the contrast ratio between text and a text’s background should be at least 4.5 to 1. If your font is at least 24 px or 19 px bold, the minimum drop to 3 to 1.
What is color blindness accessibility in website design and how are we creating it?
When your website significantly focuses on color, some users with color blindness and color vision deficit (CVD) may find it impossible to understand the content. For certain users, color accessibility lowers or eliminates the entry barrier.
When it comes to web design, color blindness accessibility refers to creating aspects of your website so that those who are color blind can still use and enjoy it in the way you intended. Text color, backdrop color, saturation, patterns, text size, and the ratio of size to contrast are all aspects of color accessibility.
The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) for contrast and color, which standardize color definitions, minimum contrast ratios by font size, and other factors, are used to gauge color accessibility. These rules may be applied to any type of content on your website, essentially anything a user needs to view to navigate, such as words on the screen, the way text changes color when a user hovers over it, form fields, checkboxes, and even graphical elements like logos and icons.
When we start designing digital content for our clients, we take all of these elements in to consideration and spend the extra time to ensure that elements such as text color, patterns, text size, and much more are set to the right standards for those who are CVD, can view the content the way it was intended to.
There are many other companies providing great digital content to their clients, but not all of them have the CVD audience in mind when designing. We are proud to say that we work more everyday on making sure we are providing more accessibility to everyone in a digital world.
If you are planning on rebuilding your website in the future, I hope that you will find this information helpful and keep us in mind when making your website more user-friendly and accessible to everyone.
If you have questions about an upcoming website redesign project, you can contact us here and we’ll be more than happy to answer your questions.