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June 2017


Creating an Accessible Website:
some lessons to pass on

Recently we launched our new website and it seems like a great time to pass along some of the things we noticed.  Sometimes we take the steps for granted, but it’s good to take a few moments to reflect and pass on some key considerations. 

Your User

  • Who is your user? Do you understand their needs and why they are using your website?
  • Have you thought about using a focus group to discuss the website and what users require? Do they access your website through mobile devices or on desktop systems, or both?
  • Have you created some personas to consider in the design?
  • In thinking about the above, think of the possible user journeys, different entrances into the website etc.For example, someone might find us when they used a search engine to look for ‘website accessibility training’.If they enter at this point, would the website make sense to them?
  • How do you want the user to contact you (presuming that you want this)? By providing an email link, by filling out a form, by telephone, by completing an order online?
  • Have you considered your colours?We all know that there is a lot of information on colour theory, what different colours mean to people.We also should consider different cultural aspects of colour.In the accessibility world, we also need to consider the colour contrast to make sure that all text and images are visible, but also whether colour is being used to indicate something, for instance focus.

Design

  • What should the website say about you or your company?
  • Remember, your website should be created for your customer’s use, and not just a personal statement of your style.You create a house to reflect your style, but you create your website to provide services to your customer.Therefore, create the website to suit the customer, but in such a way that it promotes your services in the best manner possible

Development

  • Who will do the updating of the website?You, a staff member or a developer?And how/where will it be hosted? Some CMS systems are easy to use for self-maintenance, and others are very complicated and place limitations on what you can change.Some of these CMS are just inaccessible!
  • Start your planning with a clear goal of what the website should accomplish, the look/feel you want, some of the key pages you want to include
  • Will the website be developed in-house or are you going to use an external developer?
  • If using in-house staff, are they sufficiently training in accessibility?
  • If using a developer, how do you know they are able to develop an accessible website?We have found that most developers will say they are able to produce an accessible website (WCAG 2.0 to Level AA for example), but they are seldom able to point you to a truly accessible website they have developed.Ask for references, and then have their examples checked to see if they meet the requirements.
  • If using a developer, you can use the new Australian Standard AS:301549 which gives you something binding on the provision of all ICT services.Make sure your developer can produce a statement that they will comply with this Standard

Accessibility and Usability Testing

  • Have you planned for accessibility testing to be conducted throughout the development?
  • This is where the user journeys come into play.Can the users complete all the normal tasks that you envisioned?
  • Who will conduct this testing?
  • If you want to use a team of people with disabilities and seniors, how will you incorporate this?
  • How often will the website be re-tested, and by whom?
  • Is accreditation of the accessibility of the website important to you?
  • Have you considered testing on a variety of browsers, operating systems and mobile devices?
Now that we have given you a lot of information to think about, please take a moment to look at our new website!

This website is compliant with WCAG 2.0 AA and in almost all instances to AAA, and hence ISO 40500:2012.  It will shortly bear the Digital Accessibility Centre’s accreditation which will be valid for 1 year (you will be able to try out the link from the website). And let us know if you see anything we might have missed – no one is perfect!  We will be adding more modules as we go, now that we have the initial section live and working properly.  It took a lot of testing and changing to get it just the way we wanted it.  One of the things we plan to add is more resources and some best practice and code examples.

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts, comments and any feedback you may have!
 
 






Upcoming Events

WAITTA Incite Awards Gala
Hyatt Regency Hotel
99 Adelaide Terrace, Perth
Friday 16th June 2017
6:30pm
Click Here

Perth Web Accessibility Meet-up
Dome Cafe
149 James Street, Northbridge
Tuesday 20th June 2017
7:30am




About Web Key IT
 
We are experts in website accessibility auditing, training and usability testing. Website accessibility requirements are here to stay, but many website owners are unsure of the new requirements in Australia for meeting the new standards. 

Web Key IT Pty Ltd is a business initiative aimed at assisting owners of websites of all sizes to achieve a truly accessible website. We provide a range of personalised website services to assist you in meeting Australian and internationally– recognised accessibility guidelines.














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