Accessibility (aka. universal design, or inclusive design) makes your website a better place for all users. All your users — not just the ones who see, hear, move, and think exactly like you do.


What is Accessibility?

Accessibility measures the degree to which your website to as many people as possible.

We attended Web Sherpa Summit 2015, and got great tips from Laura Kalbag on making your website more accessible.

1) Think about others first. Empathy is integral to building successful websites, products, and businesses. It’s easy to create for people who have the same needs as us. Creating a good experience for a diverse audience presents a bigger challenge.

But let’s face it, some days we all fall into the “disability” spectrum.

  • Do your eyes ever get tired after staring at a screen for 8 hours?
  • Have you ever gotten frustrated trying to navigate a website with a headache?
  • Do you have a hard time hearing audio tracks with traffic, music, or phones blaring in the background?
  • Have you ever had trouble focusing when co-workers or kids are clamoring for your attention?

2) Begin with the end in mind. Think about serving your entire audience from the project kickoff… not as a last minute addition to your launch checklist. Course adjustments are always easier to make on the front end of a project.

3) Ethical design demands accessibility. As Rotarians, we operate by the Four Way Test.

The Four Way Test
Of the things we think, say, and do:
Is it the truth?
Is it fair to all concerned?
Will it build goodwill and better friendships?
Will it be beneficial for all concerned?


How does accessibility tie in to ethics?
If your website is confusing or hard to use, then you won’t build goodwill or better friendships with your users.

And don’t assume those users give your site their undivided attention. You may be talking to executives changing flights at 4AM with a migraine. Plan a beneficial experience for everyone.

Also, let’s say your audience includes people with low vision. If they can’t read your site, that’s not fair to all concerned.

4) Accessibility affects your bottom line Results show thinking of others pays off in profits.

  • Accessibility improvements doubled Legal and General’s life insurance sales online.
  • Accessibility improvements increased Tesco’s grocery home delivery sales by (L)13M in 2005.
  • Accessibility improvements increased sales by 68%.

5) Think about different types of disabilities
There are 4 main types of disabilities affecting web use:
Visual > Make it easy to read.
Hearing > Make it easy to hear
Motor > Make it easy to interact
Cognitive > Make it easy to understand and focus

All these disabilities have spectrums.

Good eyesight or bad, no one likes to squint to read your site.

  • Make text easy to read.
  • Use reasonable font sizes.
  • Make sure your color contrast is high enough to read.
  • Let users resize the fonts themselves in the browser.
  • Provide text transcripts for video & podcasts.


  • Make your content simple, and your meaning clear.
  • Avoid large blocks of text.
  • Create visual hierarchy and focus with headings, lists, links, and buttons.
  • Keep your content structure consistent.
  • Make buttons and interactive elements easy to distinguish.



  • Use descriptive link text. (Don’t use “click here”. Help them understand what they’ll be doing.)
  • Remember, not all your users are “clicking”.
  • Create descriptive “alt text” for images. (This helps you with search engines and email too!)
  • Provide text transcripts for video & podcasts.
  • Use sub-titles for your videos.

Accessibility Helps Everyone

All your users will benefit from consistent navigation and content organization. They can all benefit from increased readability. And your business can benefit from accessible design principles.

Care about helping your customers?

So do we. Let’s talk about how to serve well together.

Contact us today! Give us a call: 918.518.6576