Make Your Website Friendly to the Visually Impaired

Make Your Website Friendly

A good portion of the American population is visually impaired. Despite this limitation, these people still use the internet frequently as business, and social life has shifted online. Unfortunately, not many websites are optimized for use by people with limited vision capabilities. Yours shouldn’t be one among them.

While this group of people may get assistance from experts like, sometimes they need more than vision-enhancing devices. You can make their lives easier by designing a website that’s more accessible to the visually impaired. On the flip side, you’ll expand your customer base and increase your sales.

How to Make Your Site Usable for the Blind

You now know why it’s essential to consider this portion of the population when designing your website. The big question is how you can achieve this goal. The approach isn’t as difficult as you may imagine, and may not require many resources than you already have.

Use Color as a Tool

Color is a vital component that determines how an interface looks like. Besides, it also helps in systematizing content by influencing its behavior and flow. Color also plays an essential role in defining hierarchy.

When used with creativity, color can be a powerful design tool, but only if you understand its capabilities and limitations. As a tip:

  • Avoid relying on color alone for anything important
  • Consider people with color-blindness impairment when selecting and implementing color palettes
  • Ensure text links stand out from the surrounding text

Try to rely more on brightness contrast than on hues of color. This will help users differentiate elements and make them more eligible. Refer to this color wheel as a guide to help you find colors that highly contrast.

Make Provisions for Text Enlargement

In most cases, making text larger than usual is all that is required to solve a myriad of issues. Consider designing your website with alternate style sheets that have larger fonts. However, ensure the layout doesn’t break when users enable the text zoom feature.

Visually impaired users will appreciate a zoom-in and zoom-out feature that doesn’t affect the general website layout. You could also offer text-only versions of your website, especially if you publish content in large quantities.

Make Your Computer-Optimized Site Mobile-Friendly

Avoid the temptation to limit your site to desktops only and optimize them for hand-held gadgets. Sites optimized for mobile are more visually accessible, and their elements often simplified. This means they have less visual clutter to confuse visually impaired users.

When you give people access to the mobile version of your site, you quickly increase accessibility without any additional costs. However, if your site utilizes a lot of JavaScript and AJAX, it may not be ideal for people with vision problems.

Keyboard Shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts are handy in making navigation of your site easier. The keyboard commands allow users to use arrow keys and a few keystrokes, without the need to use a mouse cursor across the screen.

This plays a role in maintaining visual focus, hence reducing eye strain and frustration. The less the time one has to spend following the cursor, the more improved their user experience.

Final Thoughts

When creating a website, think of all the people who could be unable to use it for one reason or another. It’s especially important to consider the visually impaired part of the population. These people can be your customers, but only if they can navigate your website with ease. Take all the steps possible to make yours a friendly site to as many users as possible.