Designing Websites with Understanding and Accessibility

The subject of web design becomes even trickier when incorporating accessibility principles. These have all too often been overlooked by the general public as most people accessing a computer will be using a fullscreen monitor. Aside from physical conditions such as poor eyesight you’ve also got to consider the changing market in browsing software.

Offering a complete browsing experience to your userbase does not come easy. It requires very hard work and you should be dedicated! There are countless Internet supporting gadgets including mobile and tablet devices, also Internet TVs and even gaming consoles.

With this brisk conditioning we’re seeing many layers of design begin to peel off. In this post I’ve gone over some quick usability tips you should check out to ensure the best results from your website traffic.

Organization and Page Info

How you lay out page content will almost always boil down to a few factors. When visitors are digging through post content you may consider which type of information will stand out. Namely, blog posts are consistent in holding up paragraph after paragraph of content.

All the more reason to build into lists and other abstract conditions. Collections, post lists, photo galleries, charts, and tables are some of the best examples for ways of displaying unique content. This is true as the content is layered in bite-sized chunks very easily managed by the reader.

When creating a list place careful consideration on the first element of each set. Naturally humans tend to place a set of importance on the first and last positions of these lists. This may also be seen with links in your navigation being accessed more freely.

Psychological Component

Human beings are an advanced form of life, very special in this universe. The way we think, how we process information, and even our interaction with the environment is deeply ingrained within our mind and decision-making processes. This psychology will deeply affect user interaction with your website and it’s important to cater into all types.

Page design is enough to pass judgement into 80%-90% of your audience. Web visitors are finicky and will impose judgement into every site visited. Thus it is crucial to ensure your site design is easy to navigate and especially easy to read.

Even if you’re posting mostly photo and video content, this is often not enough context. Long gone are the days with 11px font over taking web copy. This fancy yet annoyingly puny style was standard during the early millennium when corporate interests were held strongly over the Internet.

How things have progressed are much more towards a nurturing and stable environment. A few key points to bring up include stability in actions and return. As an example most visitors will expect your website’s logo or banner to link back home. This has been standard practice for years and this stable functionality will allow users to be comfortable browsing around.

Reduce Blank Imagery

Images are not so much a problem as often stated. Granted users who are visiting via text-only screen readers or mobile screens tend to suffer a bit in display. However those who are using such devices tend to expect such a result, as they knowingly aren’t going for the full website experience.

The problem lies more in blank imagery which are images added into static page content with no meta information. Google and other Search Engines cannot scan through images to create any method of organization. This isn’t just from a lack of technology, but moving the job of scanning and tagging images into the computer’s responsibility is dangerous territory.

It doesn’t take very much work to add an alt and title tag to each image. This gives not only search engines a great way to organize and even rank your website content, but those without images can still understand what the block contains. Many mobile devices will hold off loading images and allow the user to select pieces individually and download them.

Keep a Standard Structure

This concept ties in heavily with the average Internet user’s psychology. Consider how much work is required for a user to process an unfamiliar, albeit unique website layout. Their mind is required to recognize each of the key pieces in a design such as advertisements, page content, headings, and links.

When finding yourself on unfamiliar territory with adverts everywhere things can get sticky. Do not put yourself into this position! Usability analyst and consultant Steve Krug has written a book Don’t Make Me Think! which perfectly outlines how to construct a webpage from the ground-up. This approaches web design from a usability perspective and verifies the best descriptor to build upon is effortlessness.

Structured Conditioning

The reasoning behind how this conditioning works so well falls into the territory of mind patterns. As we visit the same websites many times over for weeks on end we tend to notice the similarities. In any case these are often similarities between content, layout, form, and structure.

By creating an accessible design and customizing a cookie-cutter template your website can be streamlined and efficient in the eyes of your visitors. This isn’t to say copying or even cloning another website is the way to go – in fact I’d recommend not following this route. Moreover I think you will find much more satisfaction by creating your own design and imposing standard design techniques afterwards.

May I recommend also looking into UI interfaces and galleries for deeper inspiration. There are so many great works open from Creative Commons which can really spice up your pages. Moreover check out this set of design pattern resources to get the creative rivers flowing.

Conclusion

There are countless factors involved when tracking and analysing your website traffic. With the vast and growing amount of technology available today it’s surprising to assume we could ever go back. With mobile devices growing in capabilities it should be no great surprise to see the movement occurring in mass numbers.

Follow some of these ideas in the future of your layouts. You may be surprised at how positive interactions can be when web processes are slowed and streamlined for efficiency. Regardless of browsers or software you can implement these great changes into your site affecting all bouts of incoming traffic.

Author: (103 Posts)

Jake Rocheleau is a passionate web designer and social media entrepreneur. He is frequently researching the latest trends in digital design and new-age Internet ideas. He's also an advocate for the social media revolution - follow his updates on Twitter @jakerocheleau.

Comments

Blog comments powered by Disqus