The Link Between Sustainable and Accessible Websites

Girl On Wheelchair Smiling While Holding Digital Tablet

In addition to being smart about design and how you optimize a website, sustainable web design strips away the fat. Websites don’t need:

  1. Sliders
  2. Carousels
  3. Video Backgrounds.

Well guess what? Those things are typically not accessible! But wait! You might not want to give these things up. Here is the good news. All 3 of these things have been proven to be ineffective. No one looks at your slides, or clicks through the carousels and worse, video backgrounds create stress and anxiety. Who wants an anxious client.

There are many other aspects to creating accessible websites but to keep it simple there are 4 main principles to make sure a website is accessible, elements must be:

  1. Perceivable
  2. Operable
  3. Understandable
  4. Robust

These are self explanatory except “robust”. It means that the website is compatible with various devices (phones, tablets, laptops, desktops and also the software that disabled people use including screen readers, magnifiers, specialized pointing devices and much more.

So What Exactly Does Sustainability Have in Common with Accessibility?

Above we touched on eliminating website elements that are not accessible but we didn’t really explain how these are sustainable. All three examples above (sliders, carousels, video backgrounds) have some drawbacks.

  1. They are relatively complex because they require extra files and processes to make things happen.
  2. That complexity can interfere with all four accessibility elements listed above.

Examples:

  • A slideshow may be difficult to perceive, and
  • a carousel may use “tab-index” and interfere with the hierarchy of the page when a disabled person is “tabbing” through the page. Therefore, it affects how operable the website is
  • A background video is not understandable to a blind person and may not be compatible with the tools disabled people use to browse the web.

So you can see how “everything affects everything” so YES, Accessibility and Sustainability are in fact linked. In some situations directly linked, in other situations, indirectly linked.

Does an Accessible Website Have to Be Custom Built?

Not necessarily. What is most important is

  1. being thoughtful about design choices and
  2. the tools such as themes and plugins you use to build a WordPress website.

Everything Affects Everything.

Big News from Empowered Marketing

Empowered Marketing is now offering Website Accessibility Implementation.

We have experience creating accessible websites from scratch too. Empowered Marketing is also working to educate clients so their sites can be more accessible. Accessibility is good for everyone.