Friday, 10 April 2015

How-to: Meet Web Accessibility Guidelines

Una puerta abierta. (An open door).  Photo by William Murphy; licensed via Creative Commons.
Two things converged this week; we are revising our in-house style guide which necessarily includes print and online, whilst on the development front, I have a team (well, Dave, actually - it's always a 'Dave') producing wireframes and mockups for our web-based CRM front end.

Accessibility remains a hot topic. It never ends and complacency is our worst enemy.

Which led me to revisit the Web Accessibility Guidelines, particularly the section on making content readable and the wisdom contained therein:

Guideline 3.1 Make text content readable and understandable. 

Advisory Techniques for Guideline 3.1

  • Setting expectations about content in the page from uncontrolled source
  • Providing sign language interpretation for all content
  • Using the clearest and simplest language appropriate for the conten
  • Avoiding centrally aligned text
  • Avoiding text that is fully justified (to both left and right margins) in a way that causes poor spacing between words or characters
  • Using left-justified text for languages that are written left to right and right-justified text for languages that are written right-to-left
  • Limiting text column width
  • Avoiding chunks of italic text
  • Avoiding overuse of different styles on individual pages and in sites
  • Making links visually distinct
  • Using images, illustrations, video, audio, or symbols to clarify meaning
  • Providing practical examples to clarify content
  • Using a light pastel background rather than a white background behind black text
  • Avoiding the use of unique interface controls unnecessarily
  • Using upper and lower case according to the spelling rules of the text language
  • Avoiding unusual foreign words
  • Providing sign language versions of information, ideas, and processes that must be understood in order to use the content
  • Making any reference to a location in a Web page into a link to that location
  • Making references to a heading or title include the full text of the title
  • Providing easy-to-read versions of basic information about a set of Web pages, including information about how to contact the Webmaster
  • Providing a sign language version of basic information about a set of Web pages, including information about how to contact the Webmaster.
With all our fancy web technologies, page layouts and responsive mobile sites, how many of us can claim to be meeting the guidelines? RC

Image Credit: Una puerta abierta. (An open door)Photo by William Murphy; licensed via Creative Commons.

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