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Universal Design and Marketability: Improve the Inclusivity of Your Website



Universal Design

In today’s digital age, the significance of universal design cannot be overstated. It’s the guiding principle that ensures a website’s usability for all, irrespective of their abilities or circumstances. By embracing universal design, you not only enhance the accessibility of your website but also its marketability.

A more inclusive site caters to a broader audience, fostering engagement and boosting your brand’s image in the process. This article explores how incorporating universal design can augment your website’s inclusivity and, consequently, its marketability. Join us as we delve into the tenets of universal design and how you can apply them to cultivate a more inclusive and marketable digital presence.

Whether you consider an SEO Company India or have an in-house team with the right knowledge of universal design, you can create an accessible website that is attractive to a broad range of users.

Shifting from accessible to universal

When we talk about universal design, it goes beyond being just accessible. The fundamental element of accessibility is that it focuses on making a website accessible to people with disabilities. However, the scope of universal design is much broader and applies to all users regardless of their situation or abilities.

That said, universal design begins by ensuring your website meets the stringent criteria for accessibility. After all, an accessible website provides a great foundation for a universally designed one.

Regardless of whether you use monthly SEO packages or have an in-house team, making sure your website meets these requirements is a must. On this note, let’s first understand the principles of universal design.

Seven universal design principles:

Equitable use:

This principle refers to creating equal access for everyone, regardless of their abilities and the environment in which they are using the website. This means your site should be easy to use by people with hearing impairments as well as those with physical disabilities or limited experience with computers.

Flexibility in use:

The flexibility in use principle states that all users should be able to use your website using their preferred methods. For example, they should be able to navigate around it using a mouse, keyboard, touch screen, or any other device of choice.

Intuitive use:

Intuitive design suggests making the user experience as streamlined and straightforward as possible. This includes designing features that are easy to find and simple to use.

Perceptible information:

This principle is all about providing content and information that is clear and understandable. This means your website should support different types of sensory abilities, such as reading, hearing, or touching.

Tolerance for error:

The tolerance for error principle states that your website should be designed in a way that reduces the chance of user errors. This includes providing clear instructions and feedback, as well as error prevention through design features such as auto-correct or form validation.

Low physical effort:

This principle ensures that users don’t have to exert too much effort when using your website. This includes designing components of the website, such as buttons, menus, and forms that are easy to operate with minimal physical effort.

Size and space for approach and use:

The size and space principle states that your website should be designed in a way that allows users enough room to approach and use it comfortably. This includes designing features such as tabs, menus, and buttons that are appropriately sized for easy access.

How to improve the inclusivity of websites with universal design?

Provide Alternative Text for Images:

Including alternative text for images allows screen readers to describe the content to visually impaired users. This simple step ensures that all users can understand the context and purpose of the visuals on your website.

In addition, a clear and consistent navigation structure is crucial for users with cognitive disabilities or those who rely on assistive technologies. Ensure your menus are easy to find, well-organized, and labeled with descriptive text so that users can easily navigate your website.

Create Captions and Transcripts for Multimedia:

Providing captions or transcripts for videos and audio content is vital for hearing-impaired users. These features enable users to understand the information conveyed in multimedia formats without relying solely on audio.

Moreover, ensure that the color contrast between text and background is sufficient to make the content readable for visually impaired users. Tools like WebAIM’s Color Contrast Checker can help determine if your website meets accessibility standards.

Implement Responsive Design:

Responsive design ensures your website adapts to different screen sizes and device orientations. This is particularly important for users with motor impairments who may rely on alternative input devices or touchscreens.

Also, consider including clear instructions, error messages, and labels associated with form fields when designing forms. Providing sufficient time for users to complete forms is also essential for those with cognitive impairments or limited motor skills.

Allow Customization of Text Size and Font:

Allowing users to adjust the text size and font type ensures that individuals with visual impairments or reading difficulties can comfortably read your website’s content. Including this feature gives users greater control over their browsing experience.

Regularly test your website with users of diverse abilities to identify potential accessibility issues. User feedback is invaluable in identifying areas for improvement and ensuring that your website is genuinely inclusive.

Offer Multiple Language Support:

Considering the global reach of the internet, providing multiple language support is paramount for making your website accessible to a wide range of users. This feature removes language barriers and makes your content more accessible to non-English speakers.

By implementing the above strategies, you can create an inclusive environment that benefits everyone while improving marketability. Following best practices in web design and not overlooking the needs of users with disabilities will ensure that your website remains accessible, user-friendly, and inclusive.

To summarize, universal design is about creating a product, system, or environment that can be used by as many people as possible, regardless of their physical abilities. The main goal is to offer an accessible and user-friendly experience for all users. When you incorporate universal design into your web development process, it improves the inclusivity and marketability of your website.

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