Do you know there are over 24 million ecommerce sites and more are created daily? Statistics show that it’s true. Business owners use different platforms like Shopify to build these websites. However, most of them struggle to adhere to the ADA compliance website checklist.
If your website is not accessible, authorities might penalize you because that depicts the exclusion of the disabled community. Of course, you can consider consulting services like Accessibility Spark to make your website inclusive for disabled users, but you can do it on your own too.
This post includes 30 tips to ensure the accessibility of your website according to the ADA’s guidelines. Let’s check them out.
30 Web Accessibility Tips
Making your website compliant with ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act 1990) includes a lot of things, including:
- Web content
While going through the process, you must check the following Shopify accessibility list to make the best of your ecommerce website.
1. Add Alt Text
Alt text or Alternate text is the textual version of the images you upload on your website. For example, suppose a user can’t see an image on your website due to slow bandwidth or any other reason. In that case, the alt text will be displayed describing the image.
You can also add alt text to images on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram for better accessibility.
2. Use Proper Headings
You must use headings properly in your web content as they improve readability. Users can easily discern the content and acquire information without getting bored. Headings also help users to find relevant content on your website.
3. Write Grammatically Correct Content
While writing content for your website, ensure it’s grammatically correct. Users who don’t speak English as a native language can get confused if the web content is grammatically wrong. That will misguide the user, which will affect your website’s reputation.
4. Provide Alternate Ways to View Media Content
You can improve Shopify accessibility by providing alternate ways to view media content. For example, you can add the following:
- Audible text for people with cognitive or visual disabilities
- Subtitles on videos and GIFs
- Translated version of media content
5. Create Easily Audible/Readable Content
Ensure the content is easily readable for people with visual impairments. Your website must also assist users suffering from visual ailments by providing audio of the text. Similarly, the audio version must be easy to listen to regarding its language, dialect, and speed.
6. Keep Standard Font Size
According to the ADA compliance website checklist, the standard font size should be at least 12 points with the suggested fonts Tahoma or Calibri. You must also write headings and subheadings with different font sizes to create a difference in the content.
7. Set Appropriate Color and Contrast
Your website’s foreground and background must not stress the user’s eyes. Computer users with visual impairments struggle to read digital text when the contrast is poor. The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 requires you to set the contrast to 4.5:1.
8. Upload Vision-Friendly Content
The content you upload must not be flashy, affecting visual health. You must also choose the right color contrast so visually impaired users can easily visit your website and interact with it.
9. Provide Navigation Tools
Users with cognitive and visual disabilities struggle to navigate through your website. They can’t find where to switch between pages and go to a particular link. Therefore, you must provide useful navigation tools, including:
- Description webpage links
- Site map
- Page title
10. Integrate Predictable Features
Another important feature of the ADA compliance website checklist is making your website predictable for the user. For example, you can standardize your website’s menu and navigation order. That way, the disabled user will easily recognize your website’s functionality.
You can also check out Medium and Shopify accessibility and learn how they made their websites predictable.
11. Accommodate Input Options Where Necessary
You should add input options in addition to keyboard and mouse operation. That might include input by voice and gestures using smartphones.
12. Enable Keyboard Functionality
Your website must be operable using a keyboard. Users who are physically challenged, like Parkinson’s patients. They struggle to use their motor skills, so they can’t use the mouse to view your website. Therefore, you must ensure that your website is fully functional using a keyboard.
13. Make On-Site Time Adjustable
Due to advanced technology, the elderly population needs more time to comprehend a website’s functionality. So, you must consider the situation and allow the old users to adjust the time on your website.
For example, websites that offer ticket booking have a timer. Some websites also alert the user about the limited offers. You can allow users to disable the alerts so they can browse without any pressure.
14. Add Working and Relevant Links
Internal and external links in your website must be working and relevant to the content. Your visitors might have a cognitive disability that restricts them from comprehending complex website links. Therefore, you must add only working and relevant links to your website.
15. Provide Labels with Form Fields
Some users don’t know how to fill out a form online. Therefore, you must provide labels with each form to assist those users. For example:
- The username field must have a label of “Username.”
16. Group Similar Form Fields
Grouping similar fields of an online form enhances readability and helps users understand the form requirement better. For example,
- Keep radio buttons together
- Keep checkboxes together
17. Highlight Table Headings Accordingly
You can use HTML markup to make table headings prominent. That helps visually impaired users differentiate the table headings and elements. That will also help the search engine to enhance the readability score for normal users.
18. Display Pointer Indication
Some visually disabled users can’t locate the pointer on the screen while browsing. So, you must indicate the pointer’s location to help the users easily browse your website.
19. Keep Background Clean
The Shopify accessibility features include keeping your website’s background clean. This means using appropriate color combinations and applying a pleasant theme to your website. That’s because users with cognitive and visual disabilities can’t take action on a website having a complex background.
20. Use ARIA Attributes
The Accessibility Rich Internet Applications (ARIA) attributes guide you on how to make your website more accessible for the disabled attributes. Web services like Accessibility Spark add ARIA attributes to your website’s HTML to make it more inclusive.
21. Use Simple Language
Ensure the content you upload on your website is in simple language. Your potential clients might not be perfect at comprehending difficult vocabulary. Therefore, use simple language for all the below types of content:
22. Display Content Transcription
Content transcription is transforming audio or video content into a textual form. You should add a textual version of media content for users who can’t comprehend images, GIFs, and videos.
23. Provide PDF files
You should provide PDF files where necessary, especially if the user is looking for a document. PDF files are easy to manage and allow users to efficiently access a document online.
24. Display Content as HTML
Some content is more readable in HTML form rather than in textual form. Therefore, enable the display HTML code feature to such areas of your website.
Some widgets are open source, and you can check out their reviews regarding accessibility. So, add only those widgets that support your website’s accessibility.
26. Make LMS and CMS Accessible
Learning Management System (LMS) is for students and teachers, and Content Management System (CMS) is for general users who view digital content. You must make both systems accessible so the disabled community can browse and execute the required tasks without a problem.
27. Make Website Accessible on Mobile
According to a report, over 62% of website traffic comes from mobile devices. That includes smartphones and tablets. Therefore, you must not forget about making your website accessible to mobile users.
The Shopify accessibility features for mobile are different from computers and laptops. For example, you can make the following features more accessible:
- Take screenshot
- Change brightness
- Open Google Assistant
- Turn the volume up and down
28. Test Keyboard Functionality
Since many internet users browse websites through a mouse, developers forget to make websites keyboard functional. That makes it difficult for physically challenged users or those suffering from diseases like repetitive strain injury (RSI).
Therefore, test keyboard functionality on your website and enhance accessibility for such users.
29. Test Assistive Technology (AT)
You should integrate assistive technologies (ATs) with your website to make it more accessible for disabled users. For example, you can integrate the screen reader feature for users who can’t read digital content.
Another example is providing visually impaired users with a screen magnifier that zooms the text, increasing the font size to make it readable.
30. Get Feedback
Prepare a questionnaire and get feedback from disabled users on your website’s accessibility. Their genuine reviews will help you find areas of improvement.
Making your website accessible is the best practice to make it inclusive for disabled users. Since technology is for everyone, you must develop your website to be accessible to users suffering from various impairments.
Therefore, follow the above website accessibility checklist and make your online presence accessible to everyone.