Accessibility and Usability

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Accessibility is key for any working website, it determines the amount of content that is accessible within a website. They are several different aspects that must be incorporated within a website to ensure that it is 100% accessible. It’s crucial for a website to cater for all different forms of disabilities, several alternative access methods can be included within the development stage, these however, must abide by a simple Guideline structure.

This structure involves, 4 Principles, 12 guidelines, a set of tests which must be successful and finally, techniques must be implemented to meet this criteria.

Here’s a link to the W3 Accessibility Web Content Guidelines: http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20/

The POUR Principles are:

  1. Perceivable
  2. Operable
  3. Understandable
  4. Robust

Perceivable – All information and user interfaces within the website, must be presentable in ways to ensure that the information/interfaces can be perceived by the user and not appear invisible too all of their senses.

Operable – The interface of the website, must be operable too the user and works as it should, the user cannot under any circumstance have an interaction that the user cannot perform.

Understandable – The information upon the website must be understandable, as well as the user interface cannot surpass the user’s ability to perform the interactions it is designed for.

Robust – All content must be robust enough to be interpreted by several different varieties of user agents, as well as assistive technologies.

Here are several Accessibility checking tools:

WAVE: http://wave.webaim.org/

AEA: http://arc.tees.ac.uk/aea

WAT: https://www.paciellogroup.com/resources/wat/

Several checks can be performed too ensure that neither text, nor images, is too difficult for the user to view or read. Here are 3 basic checks which must be performed:

  1. Check if they is minimal text imbedded within the images.
  2. Check contrast levels between the foreground and background colours of text upon the website.
  3. Check for moving elements within the website, such as an animated image banner which requires the user to read or interact with.