Writing HTML with accessibility in mind
An introduction to web accessibility. Tips on how to improve your markup and provide users with more and betters ways to navigate and interact with your site. If you don’t want to read the preface, jump right to the tips.
Personal development and change in perspective When I made my first website my highest priority was to get content online. I didn’t care much about usability, accessibility, performance, UX or browser compatibility. Why would I? …
If you don’t want to read the preface, jump right to the tips.
Personal development and change in perspective
When I made my first website my highest priority was to get content online. I didn’t care much about usability, accessibility, performance, UX or browser compatibility. Why would I? I made a robust table based layout and I offered a 800×600 and a 1024×768 version of my site. On top of that, I informed users that the website was optimized for Internet Explorer 5.
This was of course before I started to work professionally as a web designer and my perspective in what was important changed.
Years later, instead of dictating the requirements for my websites, I started to optimize them for all major browsers.
Beginning with Ethan Marcotte’s game changing article I started caring about devices as well.
Making websites for all kinds or browsers and devices is great, but pretty much useless if the websites are too slow. So I learned everything about critical CSS, speed indices, font loading, CDNs and so on.
Getting started with accessibility (a11y)
But accessibility isn’t just yet another item on our to-do list to cross off before we launch our website. Accessibility is the foundation of what we do as web designers and web developers and it’s our obligation to treat it as such.
I spent the last few months reading, listening and talking about web accessibility. It took me some time to get my head around a few things and I’m still at the beginning, but the more I learn the more I’m surprised how much I can do right now without having to learn anything completely new.
In this series of articles, I want to share some of my newly acquired knowledge with you. You shouldn’t treat the tips I’m going to give you as a check list but as a starting point. Incorporating these techniques into your workflow will get you started with accessibility and hopefully motivate you to learn and care more about your users.
Without further ado, here are my accessibility tips: