Industry Expert Reveals Top Web Accessibility Tips for Developers

Industry Expert Reveals Top Web Accessibility Tips for Developers

News by Roberto OrosaRoberto Orosa
Published: August 22, 2023

Hernan Arber, AI product strategy lead at UserWay, revealed his top web accessibility tips for developers in an exclusive interview with DesignRush Spotlight.

UserWay recently unveiled the developer tool FixMyCode, an AI coding assistant trained in digital accessibility and ADA compliance.

"This tool ensures developers can start with accessible code that integrates accessibility best practices, rather than fixing code later," Arber explained.

Arber, having led the tool's development, shared some tips for those interested in building websites and applications.

According to the seasoned expert, using semantic HTML elements to represent content and structure accurately helps "assistive technologies in understanding the context."

Semantic HTML refers to the use of specific HTML tags that convey meaning about the structure and content of the webpage.

Instead of just presenting content, these tags indicate the type and nature of the content, such as headings, paragraphs, or navigation links.

This helps search engines understand the content better and improves accessibility for individuals using screen readers, making the web more inclusive for everyone.

Arber also suggested providing alternative text for images, as doing so can help visually impaired users.

Providing alternative text for images is crucial for web accessibility because it offers a descriptive representation of the image for visually impaired users who rely on screen readers.

When an image cannot be seen, the alternative text is read out loud by the screen reader, allowing the user to understand the content and context of the image.

This ensures that users with visual disabilities can access and comprehend the full content of a webpage, promoting digital inclusivity for all visitors.

HTML Code | Source: Unsplash

For his third tip,he advises web developers to first test and optimize navigation using the Tab key to ensure keyboard accessibility.

This is essential because it ensures that keyboard-only users, including those with mobility impairments, can easily navigate and interact with a website.

Proper tab order and clear focus indicators allow these users to sequentially move through interactive elements, such as links, buttons, and forms, without getting lost or missing crucial information.

It supports the idea that websites are inclusive and cater to the diverse needs of all users. "This will ensure users who cannot use a mouse can navigate the site accessible," he explained.

The last tip includes implementing ARIA roles and attributes to enhance the user experience for those with disabilities.

Including ARIA (Accessible Rich Internet Applications) roles is crucial for enhancing web accessibility, especially for users relying on assistive technologies like screen readers.

ARIA roles provide additional context and meaning to web content, ensuring that dynamic and complex web elements are accurately conveyed.

By specifying roles, you can help assistive devices interpret, interact with, and narrate the content more effectively, bridging the gap between traditional web structures and the advanced interactive components prevalent in modern web design.

"Our comprehensive platform empowers customers to manage all their accessibility requirements seamlessly, further backing our commitment to making the web accessible for all," Arber concluded.

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