There are tons of private companies that are subject to the 508 standards too. If your web design is not 508 compliant, it might’ve already put you in trouble. We’ve put together this handy list of five website accessibility issues to check for.
Low Contrast on Text Contrast is one of the most basic features of any website, and it’s also one of the easiest for designers to neglect. To make sure that all users can view your site, designers need to check their contrast and color combinations before releasing the site to the public.
In web accessibility, good contrast is essential to getting the message across. Without it, words become muddled, and images fade away, making it difficult for individuals with visual impairments to read the content or navigate your site.
The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2 states that colors must have at least a 3:1 contrast ratio — but a 4.5:1 ratio or greater is preferable when possible.
Missing Link Text
Link text is the text that displays when a user mouses over a link. This text should give users a clear idea of where the link will take them—and what they’re about to get into. If you want to provide people with an easy ride, you need to clearly display your links. Links need to stand out from the text that surrounds them.
They need to clearly indicate where they’re going and how users should activate them. They need to reflect their target destinations and look as if they do belong in the flow of the content. Good UX design often involves using images, especially in landing pages and product pages.
Missing WAI-ARIA Attributes
The WAI-ARIA specification is a tool used by developers to build accessible, interactive content. By using the guidelines within the WAI-ARIA specification, developers can make sure that interactive content behaves correctly with screen readers or other assistive technologies. Website accessibility makes the page more usable for everyone.
According to the experts at AudioEye, “places of public accommodation, including websites and digital assets, must be accessible to persons of all abilities.” If you can’t easily edit the source code (for example, if it’s on a CMS platform), adding a few WAI-ARIA attributes to your HTML could make content more accessible to readers who rely on assistive technologies.
Missing Alt Text on Images
Every image you upload to your website should have an alternative text description (alt-text). This is a fundamental way to inform search engines about the content of images. It’s also a great way for people using screen readers and other assistive devices to understand what they are looking at when they visit your website.
Some screen readers will ignore images with no alt text. This is because the image provides no meaning to users of assistive technologies (AT) in addition to the content of the page. Without alt-text, AT users who are blind or who have low vision wouldn’t be able to understand your website.
Empty Form Labels
Form labels tell screen readers and their users what information a form field requires. Unfortunately, these labels aren’t always clear enough for users, resulting in crashes, slowdowns, and other issues with accuracy.
Use accessible labels and help your site visitors fill out forms. An accessible input label describes the input field’s purpose. If you use a single form for multiple purposes, use a legend to explain what information we expect in each field.
Thank you for reading our guide to 5 of the most common web accessibility issues you’ll face as a developer. We hope that this article helps your team build more accessible websites moving forward.