Accessibility

We want everyone to be able to read content on your website, so all users get the same experience. And it’s not just because it’s a law. That means we have to do our best to comply with standards for accessibility. When you pay attention to accessibility, you’ve automatically improved usability.

Things you can do for a more usable website:

Some of these have to do with accessibility and what you have to do legally. Others have to do with usability. Both make content easier to read and websites easier to use.

  • Use true headings for meaningful structure.
  • Page and post titles should be descriptive and informative.
  • Use bullets for lists.
  • Put descriptive, concise alt text on images.
  • Use true text as much as you can. Don’t use images that have a bunch of text embedded into them.
  • Make sure there is enough contrast between text and background, even for buttons.
  • Don’t say “click here.”
  • Link Text should be descriptive. (Instead of http://www.example.com)
  • Don’t underline text that’s not a link.
  • Use simple, plain language and avoid jargon.
  • PDFs and Word docs also need to be accessible.
  • Video should have captions and audio should be transcribed.

Choose words with fewer syllables: Examples, instead of that, try this.

  • “prior to” → “before”
  • “commence” → “start”
  • “sufficient” → “enough”
  • “in order to” → “to”

Use contractions: Instead of “do not” use “don’t.”

Check Readability: Readability Analyzer
Aim for a Flesch-Kincaid reading-grade level that’s less than 9.

Lists of Simple Words: Simple Words and Phrases - plainlanguage.gov