As inclusive web design becomes a hot topic in the field of website design and development, the purpose of why individuals and companies build websites comes to the fore.
The main function of a website is to adequately inform people of products and services being offered, which subsequently influence buyer decisions. Websites should be welcoming to all kinds of visitors - be it potential customers, passers-by or casual visitors. Failing to anticipate a range of browsing behaviours, preferences and information needs can put you at a disadvantage.
It seems website accessibility is not the main concern of some web owners and developers. From a branding perspective, a website that can anticipate what users look in a thorough manner will go a long way. Otherwise, it's a road to self-destruction.
Inclusivity, in the general sense, means covering all grounds. No one, ideally, is left behind. To know whether or not you're website qualifies as "inclusive" can be answered by the following questions:
(1) Can your customers and visitors access your site using their mobile device or tablet?
(2) Is your website accessible to persons with disabilities?
(3) Are visitors able to understand what your website is about?
(4) Can they easily navigate from your homepage to other pages on their website without getting confused?
(5) Does your content make sense? Is the placement strategic?
(6) How are forms filled up on your website?
Learn from your competitors. Whether you're too late in the game or too early, you will never know unless you did your research. In the context of inclusiveness, how are your competitors doing? For sure, there will be those ahead of you and others who are yet to take inclusiveness seriously. Check for feedback on review sites or on their business pages.
The experts know what to do. Here are tips worth your while:
(1) Give visitors various options to contact you. Email, phone and forms are all recommended.
(2) If you suspect a visitor to have a disability, touch base with them comfortably.
(3) Use an accessibility checker when optimising documents on your website. Make sure they're available in all kinds of format.
(4) Regularly review your source code. Take out elements that are troublesome to screen readers.
(5) Take out obsolete or unnecessary widgets and plugins that may not be useful to your users.
(6) Inner page headers ABOUT US, CONTACT US and SERVICES/PRODUCTS are a few of the key phrases or words that users always search for in a website. Never take them out or reword them.
(7) There should only be one H1 tag on each page of your website. Follow the proper header tagging guidelines if you want to win Google's favour.
(8) Avoid lumping content and always use subheaders. This approach fosters easy reading and helps people easily remember.
Expand your target market by restructuring your web design priorities. Your website can be so much more than just useful and persuasive.
While the lack of QA trained developers focusing on accessibility has made it difficult to meet demands, progress is underway for this field.
Without a doubt, the trends for SEO and web design in 2020 will be anchored on inclusiveness. By paying attention to this crucial element, you'll open bigger opportunities for business growth in the years to come.
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