You want every single website visitor to have a positive experience on your website. In order to make that happen you need to make your website accessible to everyone. This post provides seven easy strategies to make it a positive user experience.
Making Your Website Accessible
- CAPTCHA - A CAPTCHA (a test to verify that a user is a person and not a computer or a program) often eliminates folks from a good user experience. Those who cannot read the CAPTCHA code may be unable to enter it correctly and thus they will not have access to the information your website provides. You can add an audio element to your CAPTCHA so visitors can hear the code and then successfully type it into their computer. You receive verification. They receive access. Win/win!
- Tagging photos - If your images fail to load properly, or a user has them blocked, your visitors miss out on part of your website, which results in a poor user experience. If you simply add the alt attribute to your images, then everyone is able to experience your website fully. An alt attribute tells your visitors what the image is if it cannot be displayed or viewed. The Americans with Disabilities Act dictates that all images must have an alt attribute so you should keep this in mind.
- Small files and quick download/upload times - Large graphics and files slow a user’s ability to upload your website. Their system may simply not be able to access your site. If you have large files you are therefore making your site inaccessible to many. Make sure your website images, files and graphics are all as small as they can be. Quick upload times are appreciated by all.
- Standard files - Keep any content published or available on your website available in a readily accessible format so your visitors may access it easily. For example, PDF documents are easily viewed by any system, however MS Word files or WordPerfect files, and other proprietary file formats, are not.
Navigation, Forms, and Links
- Accessible navigation - Make sure each button, category, or action step is easy to find and understand rather than leaving your visitors to guess. The more straightforward your website navigation, the easier for each and every visitor attempting to access your site’s pages.
- Label all form input elements - If you have a form for visitors to fill out, make sure each element of your form is labeled, which ensures your visitors know what information is supposed to go into the form.
- Make links obvious - Provide links for visitors to click on, but make sure they are obvious. Text links, embedded or otherwise, all need to stand out from the rest of your content. Consider bold, underlined or colored formatting for your links, thus setting them apart.
The more accessible your website, the better the user experience for all your visitors. Make sure each and every visitor, regardless of their ability or technology, can experience all your site has to offer. Make your website accessible to everyone.