Designing Accessible Websites

Creating an inclusive design makes technology usable by all people no matter their age, education, geographic location, language, or disability. People using technology and browsing the web have a wide range of abilities and preferences. As you design your website, keep in mind the following key accessibility scenarios:

  • Screen readers—Users who are blind or visually impaired rely on screen readers to interpret and interact with your app's UI. Interpreting involves reading the UI element names, roles, values, and so on, and interacting with the UI involves moving the focus from one element to another and invoking functionality.
  • Keyboard accessibility—Many accessibility users rely on the keyboard to navigate and operate the UI by:
    • Moving focus among elements by using the Tab key.
    • Navigating in container elements such as lists, grids, and tree views by using the arrow keys.
    • Activating functionality (invoking actions) by using the Enter or Space key.
    • Using shortcut keys to efficiently access other app functionality.
  • Accessible visual experience—Users who are visually impaired need a sufficient text contrast ratio for text content, and a good visual experience with high contrast themes overall. Users who are color blind need information to be conveyed in ways other than through color.

Many common accessibility issues on the web can be solved through good coding practice. The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 documentation provides techniques and best practices to help you design more accessible dynamic web applications. See Building Accessible Websites for more information on building accessible websites.

Resources

Designing for Inclusion

Designing for Inclusion by the W3C’s Web Accessibility Initiative provides resources to help you better understand users with disabilities and how to design your website with them in mind.

Designing inclusive software

Designing inclusive software discusses Microsoft design principles and practices for the Universal Windows Platform (UWP).

How People with Disabilities Use the Web

This resource by the W3C introduces how people with disabilities, including people with age-related impairments, use the Web.

Inclusive Design Toolkit

Microsoft developed the Inclusive Design Toolkit to show how human diversity can create better design constraints and how to connect seemingly niche solutions to broader markets.