10 reasons to make your website more accessible

10 reasons to make your website more accessible

I’m old enough to remember when a “click through” was what you did at the turnstile to get into the Royal Easter Show or cricket at the SCG. Yes, I grew up in Sydney. But now it has an entirely different meaning.

One of your main aims as a marketer for your website is “click through”. I see a weblink on social media such as Twitter or Facebook, think that is interesting, and click the link.

But then I encounter the things that make me leave your website as fast as I arrived.

Here’s my top 10

  1. Having my screen reader say “Image” to me at least 10 times before I hear anything else. The Sydney Morning Herald website is a classic example.
  2. Having the “Skip to main content” weblink take you to exactly where you were when you clicked it. It’s like the train that never left the station or, worse, one that leaves the station but travels in a loop bringing you back to where you started. A complete waste of my time.
  3. Asking me if I will accept cookies. I’d prefer biscuits, but the crumbs just clog up my Braille display. I understand why you use cookies but set the default at essential, so that you don’t spam me, and I don’t have to go and turn off 15 different options I’m not interested in.
  4. Making me sign in before I get any real content. If I can’t walk into your shop and browse, I don’t want to buy there.
  5. Spamming me with emails when I have given you my email address as part of the purchase. You could ask me if I want to go on your mailing list. I just report the spam and do not go back to your website.
  6. Making me watch adverts or have to flick away other pop ups before I get to where I want to be. I’m gone before they finish.
  7. Only allowing edit boxes to be opened by a mouse click, when I want to use a keyboard command. This is basic user experience and if your website developer doesn’t know UX and accessible design, then I’d be worried.
  8. And Captcha’s! Don’t start me on Captcha’s! Keep out the bots, but don’t exclude screen reader users at the same time. My money is helping you pay that website designer of yours who perhaps needs to do a course on accessible design.
  9. Not using correct formatting to create paragraphs. Most people hit the “Enter” key in Word to get a space between paragraphs. That can lead to screen readers announcing “blank line, blank line, blank line” – for as many paragraph marks that are on the page. For my sake, please learn how to space your paragraphs using correct formatting (add a space before or after a paragraph, is a good place to start).
  10. And before you reach for your keyboard to type “OK Boomer”, remember, I’m one of the people you’re trying to sell to. And I didn’t even walk in not wearing a mask and demanding my human rights. Sausage Sizzle anyone?

First published on TCC International, this blog is republished with permission https://tcc.international

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