Tuesday, July 23

A Guide to Making Your Website Inclusive for All Users

Have you ever noticed the blue outlines that appear around links and buttons on websites? These outlines are called focus states and they help to improve the inclusivity and accessibility of websites.

Inclusive design isn’t just about making your website more accessible; it’s about being able to reach a diverse audience. Here are some tips to help you get started.

Make Your Content Accessible

One of the most important things you can do for your website is to make sure your content is accessible. Accessible design is a form of inclusive design that ensures people with disabilities have the ability to use your website and find the information they need.

This means creating clear, concise content and avoiding jargon that can exclude users with cognitive or visual impairments. It also means having a proper color contrast between your content and your background so people with color blindness can easily read it. It’s a simple change that can open up your site to a much wider audience and is incredibly easy to do.

Another way to make your content more accessible is by using keyboard-only navigation for pages, ensuring that focus states are clearly marked on forms and buttons, and making sure text-based alternatives are available for images. You can also decouple text from accompanying graphics and use HTML headers to clearly mark the sections of your page so that screen reader users can easily skim through your content and find what they need.

Additionally, it’s important to avoid using decorative fonts and use a standard, easy-to-read font size such as Verdana or 12pt. This helps a wide range of people, especially those with visual impairments and people who have a hard time reading. It’s also a good idea to avoid using any emojis or pictures with text in them, as this can cause problems for many users.

It’s also a good idea to remove any flashing or rotating elements on your page as they can cause seizures for anyone with epilepsy and may be frustrating for people who suffer from migraines, ADD, or other neurological disorders. Finally, be sure to use a freely-available accessibility checker to test your content regularly to keep it up to date and include a wide variety of people.

Create a Mobile-Friendly Site

Mobile-friendly sites are a must for businesses that want to capture leads and conversions from users on the go. To make sure your website is mobile-friendly, it’s important to test your site on a variety of devices and browsers to ensure that the content, layout, and functionality are working correctly. Use online tools or browser extensions to simulate different devices and screen sizes to get an accurate picture of how your site looks and works for mobile visitors. If you ever need to create your website, try the credible San Diego Web Design.

To make your site mobile-friendly, consider using responsive web design and implementing media queries. This technique allows you to apply different styles and layouts based on the device being used, which helps to ensure that your site is visually appealing and functional for all users. It’s also important to minimize bloat and keep your content simple to reduce load times for mobile users.

Use large, legible fonts to make it easy for mobile users to read your content. You can also improve your site’s mobile-friendliness by optimizing images and minimizing the number of external scripts, which can increase load times. Additionally, make sure to include text navigation and a search bar so that your users can find the information they need without difficulty.

Another way to improve your site’s mobile-friendliness is by implementing alternate input methods, like dropdowns and checkboxes, for form fields. Providing these alternative input methods can help to simplify data entry for users on mobile devices and make your forms more accessible for people with disabilities or impairments. In addition, include visual cues for form completion, such as progress indicators, to help your users stay engaged in the process and understand where they are at in your forms.

Create a Site Map

Just as it’s difficult to navigate a new destination without a map, search engines have trouble finding new pages on your website if you don’t submit an XML sitemap. These files are designed to be readable by search engine robots and allow you to submit specific details such as the page’s priority, how often it is updated (the “changefreq” attribute), and its location.

While this step is mainly for SEO purposes, a well-made sitemap can also help bring your team together to create a more cohesive and structured plan for your website’s design. Using a sitemap maker, you can easily propose the website structure you envision, and get immediate feedback from collaborators in real time with @mention notifications, shape-specific comments, in-editor chat, and easy permission control. You can then use presentation mode to showcase your finalized sitemap to stakeholders and clients, publish it in a variety of image formats, or insert it into popular apps.

Inclusive web design focuses on creating products and services that can be used by as many people as possible while respecting their unique abilities, including those with disabilities. Using the principles of inclusive design, you can ensure your website is accessible to all by designing larger buttons that are easier to click, clearly labeling form fields, and making error messages visible for visitors with screen readers.

Luckily, it’s easier than ever to create an XML sitemap and include all of your important pages. You can then add new content, organize your site hierarchy, and generate links to your XML sitemap using our intuitive tools. With hotkeys to create new branches, color-coding to specify future or grouped pages, dedicated shapes for different types of content, and more — you can quickly and easily build a visually appealing and functional XML sitemap that will benefit both your website’s accessibility and search engine optimization.

Add a Contact Us Form

When users want to get in touch with your business, they’re going to need a way to do that. That’s why it’s important to have a contact form on your site. Contact forms allow you to collect inquiries from visitors without publishing your email address, which can be a security risk. Additionally, forms can send your users a notification to the email that they’ve specified in the form.

It’s crucial to make sure that your contact form is easy to use, and that it provides value for the user. The most effective forms have clear call-to-actions that let the visitor know what they’ll be doing when they hit submit. Whether they’re sending a message, requesting a quote, or contacting sales, your contact form should let them know what to expect.

If there are users who don’t feel comfortable filling out a contact form, it can be helpful to include a secondary call-to-action. This can be as simple as a link to your blog, or it can be as complex as a video tutorial or a how-to guide.

With a little bit of thought, you can make your website more inclusive for all types of users. By ensuring that your website has a contact us page, offering a variety of ways to get in touch with you, and adding an easy-to-use form, your users can have a positive experience on your site regardless of their needs or abilities.

Add a Help Center

Adding a Help Center is one of the best ways to make your website more inclusive for all users. A Help Center is a resource that provides step-by-step guides to troubleshoot problems or solve common issues that your customers may encounter while using your product or service. It is an alternative to other support strategies, such as a help desk or ticketing system, which are used to capture and serve customer complaints or problems to customer service representatives to resolve.

There are many different ways to add a Help Center to your website, but it is important to ensure that the design and structure of the guides are user-friendly. In addition, it is important to ensure that the content is updated regularly so that customers can always find what they need.

A great way to humanize a Help Center is to include videos of employees or managers answering frequently asked questions. This can make customers feel like they are getting personal assistance from the company, which can improve their overall experience. The video platform Vimeo is a good example of this, as they feature employee videos in their Help Center that give it a more personalized touch.

When creating your Help Center, it is also important to consider the language that you use. It is essential to be sensitive to historical bias and not use words that are offensive or discriminatory. For example, it is important to avoid language that references gender, race, ethnicity, nationality, or heritage in a way that is stereotypical or discriminatory.

Lastly, it is important to ensure that your Help Center is easily navigable with optimized keyboard support. This is because some users have visual impairments or motor disabilities that require them to use a keyboard as their primary method of navigation.