Principles to Help Your Website Achieve Good User Experience

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In our last post, we talked about the business case for making websites as accessible as possible.

Today, we’ll talk about the big ideas behind web accessibility and how we can use them as guiding principles when it’s time to create your site.

In turn, it can help your website achieve good user experience (UX).

What are the four principles of web accessibility?

To make web accessibility a bit more concrete and less abstract, there are a series of guidelines published known as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).

Of course, it’s not feasible to recite the 61 WCAG 2.0 guidelines from memory. (78 if we’re talking about the latest version.)

To help with remembering the WCAG principles, you can think of the four major categories of web accessibility using the acronym POUR:

  • Perceivable
  • Operable
  • Understandable
  • Robust

Breakdown of POUR

  • Perceivable – content should be obtainable by sight, hearing, or touch.
  • Operable – someone should be able to go through your content using a mouse or their keyboard.
  • Understandable – as much as possible, keep your content easy to understand.
    Even when you have to introduce industry-specific jargon, like WCAG, explain concepts in a way that your audience would best understand.
  • Robust – content should be available across mobile devices, assistive technologies (like screen readers), browsers, and so forth.

Designing a website to achieve good user experience

These principles are an overview of web accessibility and I would highly encourage taking a dive into it when you have a chance. I’ll attach some resources below.

Truth be told, accessibility is heavily affected by the underlying code beneath websites and, if you caught my drift, website-building platforms are limited in how they can help us create accessible websites at the moment.

But even then, I believe we can use the four principles to design websites with good user experience (which we’ll explore a bit more in the next post).

Because at the heart of these ideas is anticipating who might show up at the doors to our websites and being ready to welcome them in.


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