If you’re not thinking of everyone, you may as well have published for no one
How would you feel if we told you that 1 billion people are unable to use your website right now (2)?
When we talk about website inclusivity, we aren’t just talking about people with disabilities or impairments (although extremely important). We’re talking about making it accessible to anyone — regardless of their age, gender, race, or specific needs.
Assuming a one-size-fits-all approach to website design is going to leave a large percentage of the population unable to navigate or use your website. And given that diversity and inclusivity is a very real conversation to be having in society today, it’s time to enhance your website and make it user friendly for all.
What is website accessibility and why is it so important?
Website accessibility means creating an experience that everyone can enjoy. It is one of the most important things you can do when designing your website; and with the help of some technology and navigation fixes, you can achieve a positive user experience and build a loyal online community.
Given that your website is often the first impression a potential customer will have of your business, it’s important to create a memorable experience. For users who may have a disability or impairment, websites are usually the most efficient way for them to interact with and buy from businesses (1). Creating an inclusive website expands beyond assisting and helping users living with impairments. Anyone can have specific needs when browsing or navigating a website, and your website design should take a large number of situations into consideration.
Disabilities or impairments that should be considered when designing your website include auditory, cognitive, neurological, physical, visual, or speech. You should also think about other specific situations which may create accessibility issues with your site, such as people using small screens to view your site, people with slow internet or bandwidth, or people with temporary impairments or injuries (2).
Whatever the situation of your website user, every page on your site should be designed and coded in a way which makes it approachable, understandable, usable, and with simple navigation.
How website accessibility can improve your audience reach and revenues
Every customer can benefit from an accessible website. From those sitting in the glaring sun at a cafe, to those rushing to their next appointment while trying to purchase a new pair of shoes, to those who require captions in a video, users will remember how they felt when they interacted with your website. Give them a positive experience, and they will come back time and time again. Leave them feeling frustrated and overwhelmed, and you can say goodbye to that sale.
Take Central Clinic as an example. The team at GippsTech helped the clinic create an inclusive and accessible website. By including the key interests and languages of each doctor at the clinic, patients with English as a second language could select the doctor who was the best fit for their individual needs. Google Translate was also integrated into the website, so patients could open the site in their preferred language. This removed important barriers to website useability, and proved to be a very popular feature for the site. A virtual tour was also incorporated into the website, so new patients and potential patients could view the space and feel comfortable before making their first visit. These simple yet effective additions improved the experience for patients, and delivered positive results for the business.
While a significant percentage of your website visitors may not require the likes of Google translate or virtual tours, everyone can appreciate an inclusive website and the positive impact it can have on those who need it.
Read the full article to learn more about what you and your website developer can do to improve your website accessibility and inclusivity!
GippsTech is a locally-grown social enterprise that helps regional businesses get the most out of their technology. We put you and the community first, helping you grow with cutting-edge skills that have been honed via our past experience with companies like Google, ANZ Bank, CSIRO, and the very best of the startup community.
We provide web design and development, digital marketing, and reliable technology solutions that keep your business growing, predictable, and secure. Our suite of services can support any business - from complimentary advice in the early stages of a project through to bespoke commercial solutions that scale with your business growth. Our team can help your business and its challenges with reliable expertise, world-class technology skills, and no complex jargon.