October 23, 2017 Creativity and Compliance

With the rise of federal investigations into accessibility of .edu sites, the challenge for institutions is not just compliance, but also assuring their site stands out from the crowd. With so many regulations to follow in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0 AA), how can great creative continue to cut through the clutter? It isn’t easy, but with a experienced team you can develop cutting edge websites that are both creative and accessible. Here are four tips to creativity inside ADA and Section 508 compliance. 

Know Your Colors: No matter what your organizational colors are, know what the variations are as well. By using secondary or tertiary colors, you can remain in compliance without sacrificing your brand. Have several versions of your logo prepared and make sure all of them are easy for the vision disabled. This goes for text and images as well!
Keep It Simple: Your animations and audio/visual aspects of your site should be clear and optional so users can select what they want to engage with. You can still tell your story easily with the right strategy, but by throwing the kitchen sink at your audience, it’s easy to confuse and disorient users. One video, without the immediate audio, and adding subtitles, will land the same impact and invite your users to watch and learn more. 
Stop Making Us Click: Nobody wants to dig for information anymore. Access to pages should be intuitive and follow a logical flow for the user. If your main navigation is more than six items long, skip navigation can provide a shorter version of your menu for a strong user experience, while also being very useful for those who are using the assistance of a screen reader.
Consider The Reader: It’s not always people who read your website, but also screen readers. Some screen readers list out every link on the page, which can cause confusion for someone listening in. It also becomes meaningless if the link text is merely “click here” because it’s impossible to tell where it leads. Include link descriptions that can be understood independently, out of context.
Know Your Colors: No matter what your organizational colors are, know what the variations are as well. By using secondary or tertiary colors, you can remain in compliance without sacrificing your brand. Have several versions of your logo prepared and make sure all of them are easy for the vision disabled. This goes for text and images as well!
Keep It Simple: Your animations and audio/visual aspects of your site should be clear and optional so users can select what they want to engage with. You can still tell your story easily with the right strategy, but by throwing the kitchen sink at your audience, it’s easy to confuse and disorient users. One video, without the immediate audio, and adding subtitles, will land the same impact and invite your users to watch and learn more. 
Stop Making Us Click: Nobody wants to dig for information anymore. Access to pages should be intuitive and follow a logical flow for the user. If your main navigation is more than six items long, skip navigation can provide a shorter version of your menu for a strong user experience, while also being very useful for those who are using the assistance of a screen reader.
Consider The Reader: It’s not always people who read your website, but also screen readers. Some screen readers list out every link on the page, which can cause confusion for someone listening in. It also becomes meaningless if the link text is merely “click here” because it’s impossible to tell where it leads. Include link descriptions that can be understood independently, out of context.

Want to receive a free audit of your site? Visit us at highered.efkgroup.com to learn more!