Learning about Webflow and Web Accessibility
Sometimes the more you learn about a topic, you realize that you have so much MORE to learn.
The web design world is constantly evolving, and for the most part, it seems pretty good.
Last week celebrated the 10th anniversary of Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD). Essentially this is a day each May encouraging people to think about digital accessibility and designing websites and platforms to be usable by anyone including those with disabilities.
The main point is this....
Web design should be inclusive and accessible for everyone.
It's just the right thing to do.
And for someone like me who builds websites and landing pages to capture attention, this day is a helpful reminder to make sure that design decisions taken are accessible to people that have visual impairment.
Designing for attention is sometimes about breaking norms, breaking structure. We break conventions to achieve innovative and stand out. And while this creates intrigue, it can cause difficulties for people with certain disabilities and that's not fair.
We need need to be considerate for everyone when designing.
So I thought to mention a few things that I've learned while designing websites with Webflow and learning more about accessibility over the past week.
Webflow and Web Accessibility
- Webflow, the web platform I build with, provides a great foundation for building accessible sites. They have a built in audit that helps you investigate your heading structure, alt-text and visuals like color contrast to make sure your website is accessible.
- Webflow has an entire section on their website dedicated to accessibility and steps they take to make it easier for designers like me to create accessible websites https://webflow.com/accessibility Super cool and a great example of how to make a website readable for everyone while looking cool.
- When you are uploading images into Webflow collections, try and make your alt-text ADA compliant by attributing a proper description. Don't try to simply stuff keywords in thinking it's good for SEO, because it can just be confusing to people.
- There are tools out there to help you audit the accessibility of your website
Web Accessibility Areas Worth Mentioning
I put out some questions to other web designers to ask what they do with regard to accessibility, and this is what I discovered:
- Obviously, there are million reasons why sites should meet ADA compliance should be, but: "In the U.S., apart from federal, state, and local government websites which must meet Section 508 regulations, there are no enforceable ADA legal standards to follow for website accessibility." Here's an article explaining https://www.searchenginejournal.com/website-accessibility-law/285199/
- https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/10900-ada-website-requirements.html These 3 points are often mentioned in articles I read. ADA compliance is not black-n-white and so it seems that one could be presented with lawsuits, but are provided time to make changes
- Because ADA compliance is not explicit, it seems that you have to show that you are taking action to be inclusive. And so the accessibility tools that add a handicap button to your website is a visual way to demonstrate to the world that you are trying to be considerate to everyone. However, it's not required, which is why you don't see it on many sites.
Places to learn about Website Accessibility
And so finally, I just wanted to mention a few places where you can learn about Website Accessibility. This list was provided by Design Buddies
- Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG): - You can even test your website and see if you have areas that you can be improved upon.
- Inclusive Design Toolkit
- Inclusive Design Principles