BBC News reports:
An investigation by the Disability Rights Commission shows that more than 80 percent of websites are unusable by disabled people. Presumably this is for the United Kingdom, but I suspect the results could be generalised to places like New Zealand as well.
Each month I review a community website for CommunityNet Aotearoa. I find it very difficult to find websites which even use alternate text for images, let alone consider other accessibility factors. Bad design is everywhere! I think this is particularly important for community groups, too. After all, aren’t community groups the ones championing the rights and causes of ordinary people?
A thousand websites were tested … Blind people involved in testing websites were unable to perform nearly all of the tasks required of them despite using devices such as screen readers.
The problems most commonly encountered by the disabled website testers were cluttered pages, confusing navigation, failure to describe images and poor colour contrast between background and text.
Good Website Design Checklist
- Provide text equivalents for nontext elements
- Ensure good colour contrast between foreground and background
- Pages must be usable when scripts and applets are turned off or not supported
- Avoid movement in pages
- Avoid popups and don’t change window without telling the user
- Divide large blocks of information into manageable chunks
- Clearly identify the target of each link
- Use the clearest and simplest language possible
Anyone wanting some starter material for making websites, or anyone who already uses tools such as FrontPage and Dreamweaver, could do well to look at my free online web design courses. Also be sure to visit Accessify for news, resources and tutorials.