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5 Things To Remember When Designing Accessible Web Pages
Since accessibility is a prevalent topic in web design (certainly within the UK due to the DDA act) I thought I would provide some pointers to other designers on things to consider when creating designs for accessible web pages.I’m sure some designers would argue that this is the role of the person coding the HTML to make the design created to work, yet from my experience I would say that the designer has just as much responsibility if not more as usually the ones who first begin production on a job and therefore decisions made at this stage will undoubtedly affect the outcome of a project.
Here are just a few examples of what i look out for when designing:-
- Understand that dynamic text (ie text not produced as a graphic) within a web page will increase and decrease and therefore try to imagine the impact that will have on other elements within a design.
- Try viewing a design without colour to see whether or not the page has an adequate contrast on elements and is still readable whilst this also gives an appreciation to the design for people who interpret colour differently or not at all. A classic example of this would be using colour as a way of identifying which section of the site you are in, could a user still understand where they are within the site if the colour wasn’t represented.
- Imagine your page without any images at all and see what you’re left with. Although physically you have no control on how text will be layed out within a browser it is important to understand whether the page has enough text and whether its structured well enough to be read, whether there are still indicators such as breadcrumbs that let you know where you are in the site and whether or not the user still has the ability to navigate around the site.
- Avoid causing the screen to flicker too much. This probably applies more to flash based work or animation yet mainly it’s concern is with regards to people with epilepsy and to avoid anything which could trigger a seizure.
These are just a few examples that I have covered with regards to area’s that designers should give consideration. For more of an overview with regards to other guidelines I would recommend going to the W3C website and specifically the accessibility page at http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG10/checkpoint-list.html.