Tips for improving webpage accessibility

Accessibility can be easy

Unless you work for a few tech companies people at your workplace probably don’t spend as much time thinking about accessibility. I don’t mean having a UX team that simplifies a journey but catering to users with needs such as having to access the built-in narrator on Apple, Android or Windows desktop and mobile operating systems. It’s important to pay attention to your home, landing pages and everywhere someone might go on their journey to buying your product.

Shock upon seeing my web accessibility score (kidding mine was 93)

You can check your score somewhat easily if you use Chrome. Go to developer tools by using the three vertical dots / options panel.

Accessing developer tools in google chrome

I used incognito mode because I was logged into my CMS and I’m not a 100% certain whether it makes a difference. If you aren’t logged in then, you might not need incognito. The browser cache is purged when you do the lighthouse test.

Lighthouse performance testing in chrome

Upon clicking submit it will generate a report, which for me was unsatisfactory on accessibility (93) because I try to put some effort into accommodating everybody even if it is a personal blog.

Lighthouse test showing accessibility at 93 out of 100
Accessibility score of 93, with everything else at 100

Some quick tips to help accessibility ?‍?

  1. Make sure all your images have an alternative text. On your CMS you can set one up easily. If it is descriptive and accurate than along with helping your fellow user you also improve SEO
  2. The buttons have an accessible name or description if you use an icon
  3. Try to follow (and I’m guilty of this) a good page structure where H1 H2 and H3 follow one another properly. Ideally you do not want more than one H1. Create a hierarchy of headings first before adding content if you struggle with consistency.
  4. UX people are actually good at this, but try to use icons that describe the text at lest in navigation when you can.
  5. Tooltips are actually accessibility friendly and some accessibility readers can narrate it automagically.
lighthouse tips on improving accessibility

I had already followed my tips out of habit, but after following the tips I got from Lighthouse I improved my page’s accessibility score on their test. I had to change a couple of things the most major of which was the search button.

search bar on website with icon
search bar on website with button saying search

They actually give you a nice confetti message for getting a score of 100 in everything

lighthouse test with perfect score on
Top score on the lighthouse test