10 Resources to Get You Started with Inclusive Web Design
Inclusive web design uses your skills and knowledge to design a website that works for everyone. It blends best practices in digital experience optimization with clear standards on website accessibility to make sure that your website works for those with or without disabilities.
Over the past few years, accessibility and inclusive web design have become more popular. It’s a trend that’s not likely to disappear. With lawsuits over inaccessible websites on the rise, businesses have a clear incentive to follow web design principles––and not just to reach a larger audience for their business.
You don’t have to get started with inclusive web design on your own. The accessible web design experts at 3 Media Web are here to help.
Here are ten resources to start you with inclusive web design and website accessibility this year.
Bet Hannon discusses one of the leading trends across web design over the last few years: accessibility. It shows that everyone should be paying attention to this aspect of design, as it’s beneficial for everyone.
“If you don’t already know, web accessibility is creating a digital environment optimized for those with disabilities (often interchangeable with “Universal Access,” which is an environment that can be used by anyone regardless of circumstance). While accessibility most commonly benefits those with disabilities and those who use assistive devices to navigate websites, it creates a better experience for everyone simply by taking people and situations into account.” ––Bet Hannon
If you’re looking for a great explainer that showcases all of the vital aspects of accessibility, this one from Matchbox Design Group will help. They outline the standards that should be familiar to web designers and developers alike, as these two teams are often working in concert to make a website fully accessible.
“The Internet can be difficult for people without disabilities. For people with a disability, it’s even more difficult, if not impossible, to navigate. But, people with disabilities aren’t the only reasons to make sure your website is accessible. You will see additional advantages when you create a universally accessible site.” ––Matchbox Design Group
Accessibility Works carefully lays out the standards and requirements that all developers and designers should be using in 2022. They also outline ADA Compliance audit best practices and detail some of the costs of accessible web design, which is helpful.
“Websites are in constant flux. New content is always being added (one should hope), and the design interface is fine-tuned over time. To maintain accessibility, periodic WCAG audits should be scheduled. Until significant changes to the interface are made, you can use automated auditing tools to check on new pages, products, and blog posts. Once significant changes are made, manual and assistive technology testing should be conducted on affected pages/templates.” ––Accessibility Works
The Unity Web Agency helps web owners understand how web accessibility and web design can work together towards a common goal in this great explainer. Whether you’re a freelance designer or an agency yourself, this article can help set the foundation for your designs this year.
“Frankly speaking, we can’t blame people too much for seeing accessible design as ugly. (Even if we disagree with it.) When it comes to strong, accessible design, many implementations are hard to notice for most users. Whenever people see an “ugly” design meant to be accessible, it’s usually because that design wasn’t executed properly.” –– Unity Web Agency
Content creators aren’t exempt from thinking about website accessibility. They, too, play an important role in designing websites that work for everyone. This article from the Bureau of Internet Accessibility lays out some differences between WCAG 2.2 and WCAG 3.0 to help content creators understand how they fit into the larger accessibility picture.
“Crucially, WCAG 3.0 will add content from the W3C’s Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 and the User Agent Accessibility Guidelines 2.0. The goal is to make a single, comprehensive document that applies to all forms of electronic media. In addition to websites and mobile apps, WCAG 3.0 will provide guidance for Internet of Things (IoT) devices like smart speakers. One of the writers’ primary objectives is to allow the guidelines to grow when new technologies are introduced. The document also contains simpler, clearer language to help webmasters use them more effectively.” ––Bureau of Internet Accessibility
For those looking for a helpful introduction to inclusive web design, look no further than Adobe’s blog and this article on basic principles and examples of the practice. They use examples to highlight the basics of inclusive design, but they also outline why it’s so important to the internet today.
“Inclusive design is important for many reasons, but most importantly, it enhances the user experience for a diverse audience. Approximately one billion people, or 15% of the world’s population, experience some form of disability. Empathy for a diverse audience is a key component of inclusive design. It helps create an experience where users can feel like they belong, rather than feel excluded.” ––Adobe
7. What Is B2B Video Marketing? A Beginner’s Complete Guide
Inclusive design doesn’t just stop with the website itself. Content is also important for an accessible website, and video is just as important as written content. This article from Adlio helps explain the basics of video marketing for those just starting to dip a toe into the world of video marketing.
“In B2B marketing, your sales interaction often ends with the company’s key decision-makers; the Executives, CEOs, General Managers, etc. So, B2B video marketing is employing or taking advantage of video to market your product or service to other businesses —or, better put, to these key decision-makers. Most times, this train of decision-makers makes it a lot harder to close in leads with just the basic selling tactics. Trust me, as a B2B marketer, you’ll be left with crickets if your video content marketing isn’t backed with a compelling case. What to do?” ––Adlio
This is another trend of the 2022 article, but with great gif examples of the newest practices in web design. It shows that accessible web design doesn’t need to be boring or stale but can also stay current with the latest advancements throughout the industry. (Plus, there are cats in this one.)
“When designers are forced to sit at home, they create more and have time to reflect on what already exists. Boredom is the worst enemy of an artist, and they will go miles to break the ennui. Looking at how things are now, we can already predict most of the forthcoming tendencies in design, like we did (pretty accurately, mind you) for 2021. This year’s trends will stay for the next too, of course.” ––UX Planet
9. A First Look at Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 3.0: Planning for the Future of Web Accessibility
It should come as no surprise that web accessibility standards are constantly changing like the rest of web design. One article that discusses the evolving future of web accessibility is this one from Web Spec Design. As you’re planning your next iteration of a website project, use this explainer to get caught up with WCAG 3.0.
“The contributors and editors of WCAG 2.1 have received a lot of feedback about the difficulty of understanding and conforming to the guidelines presented. In response, WCAG 3.0 was designed to create accessibility guidelines that are easier to understand while covering more user needs and addressing different types of web content, tools, and applications.” ––Web Spec Design
We round out our list of helpful resources on inclusive design with another beginner’s guide, as you can never really have too many. This one from Career Foundry goes into great detail about why inclusive design is important and provides concrete examples of the design practices needed to create an inclusive design today.
“As a UX professional (aspiring, new, or seasoned), you hold the power to shape things—to alter the nature and direction of a project. That is a tremendous responsibility, and it means that you have the ability to influence design decisions in ways that benefit people who are often overlooked or ignored.”––Career Foundry
Learn How to Design a Website for Everyone
Businesses are more at risk than ever to be on the receiving end of a website accessibility audit, but that’s not the primary reason to design an accessible website. Your business can reach a larger audience if those with disabilities can use your website as well.
Inclusive web design blends web best practices and standards on website accessibility to create a design that works for everyone. Use these ten resources to get started today.
Build Your Next Inclusive Website
If you’re looking for some help to build a more inclusive website for your business, 3 Media Web can help you get started.