Monday, November 25, 2019
According to Seyfarth Shaw, a Chicago-based law firm, the first half of 2019 saw a 12% increase in ADA Title III lawsuits filed in federal court. Many experts have warned that this number will continue to rise in the coming months.
Over the past few weeks, we’ve taken a closer look at prevailing accessibility standards in a series of articles exploring the four principles of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0. In our last post of this four-part series, we shared an overview of the operable principle. Today, we’re turning our attention to the third principle of the WCAG 2.0: understandable.
*It’s important to note that when we discuss those with auditory or visual disabilities throughout this series, we are not only speaking of those with the most commonly known disabilities, such as deafness and blindness. Other auditory and visual disabilities include colorblindness, and partial hearing and vision loss. Other factors that may impact one’s ability to access content on your website may include reading disabilities, a language barrier, a slow internet connection and limited access to small screens on handheld devices.
The list below is not intended to be an all-inclusive guide for website developers. Instead, it simply explores how some common website elements can be modified for greater accessibility.
The basis for the Understandable Principle of WCAG 2.0 is that all, “information and the operation of user interface must be understandable.” The content and layout of each webpage should be easy to comprehend so that a user can learn and remember how to interact with a website, which constitutes a better user experience. Below are guidelines that website developers and designers should keep in mind when creating an accessible website.
Under this guideline, webmasters should “make text content readable and understandable.”
Website visitors consume content and understand it in different ways. Regardless of the method, the meaning and context behind a website’s content must be easily digested.
Under this guideline, developers should “make webpages appear and operate in predictable ways.”
Intuitive interfaces and consistent patterns, such as page layout and link order, allow users to easily understand website content.
Under this guideline, website owners should “help users avoid and correct mistakes.”
Instructions should be provided in order to reduce the number of user errors made on a website. When errors do occur, the user should be notified and provided with clear instructions on how to fix them.
You can check your website’s accessibility here. Next up, we’ll dive deeper into Principle 4: Robust.