Making sure your website is accessible to everyone is not only the right thing to do. It can also be a great way to improve usability for all of your visitors. One easy way to do this is by using an accessibility overlay tool. This article will show you how.
Why You Should Add An Accessibility Overlay Tool To Your Website
The W3C has guidelines for making web content more accessible. Providing your website is not being excluded from search results because of poor accessibility, it’s perfectly fine to spend some time reviewing your site and making any necessary adjustments.
Adding an overlay or alert box tool on top of the existing web page with the relevant information is a great way to ensure that even if your visitors can’t hear or see your website, they still have access to some of its content.
There are many accessibility overlay tools out there, and some are free while others have a price tag attached to them. One of the best is WAVE Web Accessibility Tool.
WAVE Web Accessibility Tool
This tool was developed by the University of Washington and has been in use since 2003. The newest version, 4, offers improved accuracy in identifying issues within your web pages.
The accessibility overlay tool allows you to select which page you’d like it to test for content, widgets, and general usability problems, including color contrast issues, alt tags, headings not being defined correctly, and much more. It also offers suggestions on how these can be resolved or improved upon to make your website accessible to all visitors if need be.
One feature that makes this accessibility overlay stand out from at least some of its competitors is that it doesn’t cover up your website as the test runs. Instead, it allows you to see and interact with the website as normal without obstructing your view. This makes it easy to identify what content has been flagged by the overlay tool.
After running a check on your site, WAVE Web Accessibility Tool will present you with all the results in an easy-to-follow report. The results are broken down into errors, warnings, suggestions, and messages, which help you prioritize what parts or widgets need fixing first so they don’t interfere with usability.
The accessibility overlay comes with various customizable options, including error message appearance, minimum page width allowed for testing, defining accepted input types for fields, etc. These can be found under the Options tab and will allow you to adjust the overlay tool, so it works for your website.
The great thing about this accessibility overlay tool is that it doesn’t just flag up problems. It also provides simple solutions with links to further information that gives you all the guidance to address or fix these issues.
Final Thoughts on Using An Accessibility Overlay Tool On Your Website For Usability
Following the guidelines set by the W3C can go a long way in ensuring that you provide your visitors with an improved experience when they visit your website. An accessibility overlay tool is certainly one of the best ways to do this without too much effort on your part.