As designers and marketers, we’re here to find creative solutions and disseminate information for our clients. We want to ensure that those messages reach and resonate with as many people as possible for clients to get the strongest results. Here at KIMBO, we follow best practices in accessible website design to make sure that our clients are reaching their goals while being inclusive.
What is accessible design? Well, in simpler terms, it refers to how easily a person can use your site and that it’s designed in a way that equal opportunities are present for all users to interact with your site and find the information that they need. Specifically, we are making sure that the websites we create are accessible to those with visual, auditory, or mobile disabilities.
Why is accessible design important? You want your brand, your message, to reach as many people as possible and you want the medium to be inclusive to support that goal. Plus, it’s a great way to avoid a lawsuit, which is becoming increasingly more common!
Accessible design is becoming increasingly important for all websites, and here at KIMBO, we have implemented this practice into our web design and development process. Working with the provincial and federal government has given us a bit of a head start in understanding best practices and various tools that help us remain informed and create accessible websites such as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).
There are various main areas that we focus on when designing an accessible website and we ensure that these elements are discussed with clients throughout the process. As a client, these are some things that you should expect your agency to know or consider when creating a website…
Small text can be difficult to read in the best of times, so imagine coming at it from the perspective of someone with visual disabilities or low vision. KIMBO picks fonts that are legible in nature and are large enough to read. We often implement functionalities that give the user the ability to further increase the font size for increased accessibility.
One of the first things that we do is establish a typographic hierarchy to ensure that navigation on the website we design is user-friendly and intuitive.
Colours & Contrast
Colour choice and contrast is a very important factor in accessible website design. We keep this in the front of our minds here at KIMBO and choose colours that show up with high enough contrast for all visual disabilities, such as colour blindness, glaucoma, cataracts, etc. We make sure that our websites are launched with high contrast scores.
Images & Videos
We know that images are inherently inaccessible for visually impaired users. At KIMBO, we go the extra mile to make sure that all images include descriptive alt text to allow users using screen readers the opportunity to understand what is on screen and give them the ability to better interact with the website. Similarly, we aim to optimize videos for accessibility as well by adding or suggesting audio descriptors.
We aim to make URLs as descriptive as possible to allow those using screen readers to navigate the website more easily. For example instead of using a URL like, “www.website.com/about” we would use, www.website.com/about-our-company.
Skills for creating accessible PDFs and other various file formats is increasingly becoming a requirement, especially for government websites. We try to make sure that PDFs are created considering those accessing from mobile devices, and for those using screen readers.
We’re trying to make the internet a more inclusive place and make decisions that ultimately make websites seamless to use for everyone. KIMBO is here to help, offering comprehensive website accessibility audits and complete website builds. Check out the BC government website to find out how to make your website more accessible and get in touch with us today!