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One of the most important lessons for business owners in particular to learn is that when it comes to web design, you're ultimately talking about so much more than just a visually pleasing site.

Yes, the look and feel of your site is important as it is essentially the cornerstone of your online presence. But you equally need to be concerned with accessibility - that is, making sure that someone who may be disabled can still access and derive value from everything you're putting online.

The Basics of Accessibility: Breaking Things Down

At its core, accessibility in this context means that you're providing users information through multiple sensory channels, as per the experts at Usability.gov. It's easy to take a computer mouse for granted, but we really shouldn't as there will be people out there who don't have the ability to use them. If your site is only navigable in this way, you're potentially cutting off a big chunk of your target audience.

Instead, the interface needs to be designed with multiple navigation options in mind - like keyboard-based controls or even voice-based navigation.

Along the same lines, we shouldn't rely exclusively on color as a navigational tool or as the only way to differentiate one part of your site from the next. Where does that leave your color-blind users? Instead, there need to be other ways to group and separate content so that everyone can have the same quality experience that you're trying to create, regardless of their situation.

Even something as simple as video content is easy to "get wrong" if you're not careful. When uploading videos to your website, you need to make sure that options like in-sync captioning are available for those who may be hearing impaired.

Text clarity is another important accessibility factor, as this is usually one of the major issues that people who are visually impaired run into when using the Internet. This, too, is an easy mistake to make. Not only do you need to make sure that you're using fonts that are legible, but you also need to give consideration to how easy large blocks of text are to read. This is why it's always critical to break things up to make it easier to scan from one portion of the page to the next.

In the end, understand that accessibility is good for everyone and can absolutely allow you to embrace a larger number of potential clients than ever before. Does it require a little bit of additional effort when designing a website to make sure that these and other types of factors are accounted for? Yes - but it's also worth it, even going beyond the fact that it's the right thing to do.

If you'd like to find out more information about the importance of accessibility when designing websites, or if you'd just like to talk about your own needs with someone in a bit more detail, please don't delay - contact InfoStream today.