When it comes to branding, you want to ensure that your brand reaches as many potential customers as possible. It’s not just about having a great logo; it encompasses everything related to your business or product.
But how can you make your brand accessible to everyone? Let’s explore the concept of digital accessibility and why it’s crucial.
What is Digital Accessibility? Why is it Important?
Digital accessibility involves making your brand available and enjoyable to people with disabilities.
- visually impaired individuals,
- hearing impaired, or
- physical or psychological disabilities.
Many brands face the challenge of objectivity when it comes to embracing digital accessibility. Internal stakeholders who are deeply involved with their products often overlook design changes necessary to reach broader audiences.
To gain a broader perspective on digital accessibility, it can be helpful to take a step back and view it from a higher level. Resources such as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) provide detailed guidelines for making web content accessible. Brands can use WCAG to familiarize themselves with the basic rules of accessibility.
Understanding and testing for accessibility in digital content can offer valuable insights and analysis.
Having a basic understanding of WCAG compliance levels leads to improved digital content for all users. Many common disabilities, such as haptic feedback limitations or reading difficulties like dyslexia and hearing loss, are prevalent. By designing with accessibility standards in mind, brands can enhance touch technology and readability for everyone.
So, How Can You Make Your Brand More Accessible?
- Text size and readability
- Colour contrast
- Clickables and buttons
- Semantic HTML
- Include transcripts and alternative descriptions
Text Size and Readability
Increasing the size of your text can greatly improve accessibility.
Whether it’s on your website, logo, or printed documents, consider using a minimum text size of 16 pixels.
This small change can make a big difference for older customers or visually impaired individuals. Additionally, choosing simple serif fonts like Arial, Verdana, or Calibri can make your content more dyslexia-friendly, expanding your potential customer base.
Ensuring sufficient colour contrast between text and background colours is essential for readability.
Online colour contrast checkers can help you find the right ratio for accessibility. Aim for a ratio of at least 4.5:1. Experiment with different colour combinations to achieve the best results, as contrast plays a significant role in design principles.
Clickables and Buttons
Increasing the size of links and website buttons improves visibility and usability. Larger targets are easier for users to see, click, or touch.
WCAG recommends a minimum size of 44 by 44 pixels to accommodate touchscreens and users with mobility disabilities.
While it may be beneficial to go bigger for frequently used click targets, objectivity, and trained judgment should guide the design process.
Semantic HTML adds meaning to website components, aiding browsers and assistive technologies.
It enhances the structure and navigation of web pages, benefiting users who rely on screen readers. Moreover, semantic HTML positively impacts search engine optimization, ensuring content is organized and adaptable.
Include Transcripts and Alternative Descriptions
If your brand heavily relies on visual content, provide transcripts and descriptive alternatives.
Transcripts provide the text version of a video or audio content, while descriptive transcripts offer additional information to interpret visual assets. Subtitles can also enhance real-time information for users. Offering content in multiple formats ensures that users don’t miss out on important details.
The Impact of Website Accessibility on Brand Reputation and Success
Low Brand Engagement
Inaccessible businesses receive negative responses from individuals with disabilities.
Lack of accessibility and usability can lead to adverse actions, such as not purchasing from or recommending the brand.
It creates a sense of disconnection and unreliability, affecting brand engagement and reputation. Prioritizing accessibility aligns with Corporate Social Responsibility.
Failure to comply with accessibility standards, as outlined by the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), can result in legal problems.
ADA compliance is essential for websites owned or funded by governments or businesses. Lawsuits and non-compliance can lead to financial expenses, public relations issues, and the need for website reconstruction.
Poor Guest Experience
For businesses in the hospitality industry, providing exceptional service to all potential customers is crucial.
The guest experience begins online, and an accessible website creates a positive impression. Enhancing accessibility by incorporating closed-captioning, compatible text, and other inclusive features ensures a positive online experience.
First impressions matter, and accessibility plays a significant role in customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Final Thoughts: Digital Accessibility
In today’s digital age, it is crucial for brands to prioritize accessibility in order to reach a wider audience and enhance their brand image. By ensuring that your website, apps, and other digital platforms are accessible to all users, regardless of their abilities, you not only comply with legal requirements but also demonstrate a commitment to inclusivity and equality.
So why wait? Take the necessary steps today to enhance your brand with digital accessibility and make a positive impact on your business and society as a whole.
Author Bio: Emilie Brown
Emilie Brown works with the Digital Marketing team at PREP, an AI-based remediation software that enables businesses to create WCAG and ADA-compliant PDFs in minutes. Her approach and methodology is simple, concise, and to the point and connect with readers seeking for solution-driven content on topics related to accessibility and remediation. Apart from her time at work, she loves to spend time with her dog, volunteer and play her guitar.