Creating a website that is accessible to all users, regardless of their disabilities, is becoming increasingly important in the modern age. Having equal access to the internet should also mean having equal access to digital content. Content is one of the most important aspects of an accessible website. Whether it is a blog post, an article, or a product description, it should be clear, concise, and easy to understand for everyone.
Here are some best practices to help you create accessible content.
1. Avoid jargon.
Using technical or industry-specific language can make it difficult for some users to understand your content. Keep your writing simple and to the point, and try to avoid using words that may be unfamiliar to your readers. If you do use jargon, provide an in-line definition or link to a glossary on your website.
2. Break up your content with lists, images, and subheadings.
It is much easier to digest content that is not written in a huge block of text. Break up long paragraphs into smaller chunks and use images, lists, and subheadings to make content easier to read and navigate. To ensure maximum accessibility, the correct HTML should be used for lists, images should be given alt text descriptions, and subheadings should be in sequential order.
3. Write for readers, not search engines.
Search engine optimisation (SEO) can help drive traffic to your website, but you should not sacrifice accessibility for SEO. Avoid stuffing keywords into your writing. Your content should be easy to read and understand for all users.
4. Use descriptive link labels.
If you are adding hyperlinks into your content, make sure they are labelled with descriptive text that tells users exactly where the link will take them. Generic phrases like “click here” or “more info” do not provide enough context for users, who may be left wondering what they are clicking on or getting more info about.
5. Don’t use text appearance alone to convey meaning.
Do not rely on bold or italic styling to emphasise important words and phrases: screen readers and other assistive technologies don’t usually identify font styles. Although HTML tags can provide extra context and CSS can style text appearance, whatever meaning you want to convey to users should be clear from the text alone.
By following these best practices, you can create content that is inclusive of all and make your website more user-friendly for everyone. Contact IA Labs today to find out more about how to write accessible content.