How to Make Your Brand More Accessible to Customers

Branding is more than just a logo. It’s also about the experience and bringing joy to your customers. Consider making your brand accessible to everyone. Accessibility can add many benefits to your business, but it also shows that you care.

So, what is accessibility, and how can you make your brand more accessible to customers?

What Is Accessibility?

Accessibility refers to providing access to websites and technologies for all people regardless of disability or impairment. The ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) was passed in 1990 to ensure all U.S. citizens with disabilities have equal access to everything, including computer technology.

What does this mean for brands? Every company must ensure they are ADA-compliant and follow the WCAG (Website Content Accessibility Guidelines). When creating a website or new content, brands should have accessibility in mind.

Importance of Brand Accessibility

Why is accessibility necessary for your brand?

It’s simply the right thing to do. All of those who are impaired use the internet for specific activities like online shopping and communication. Everyone should have equal access because it is their right.

While accessibility is helpful for all disabled users, it creates more opportunities for your brand, too. By being ADA-compliant, your brand is taking measures to prevent legal action. Lawsuits can be expensive for your business, and it takes away time from your operation.

The other upside to providing accessibility is that it makes your brand look good. It shows that you’re socially inclusive, which can retain lifelong customers for your business.

When your brand provides accessibility, you’re ensuring that your website is usable to everyone. Brands that enable people to use your website in a variety of ways offer flexibility. As a result, this can be beneficial in boosting your brand’s loyalty.

Web accessibility also allows you to expand your audience. Once you increase your audience, you bring in more customers and revenue.

Making Your Brand More Accessible

Accessibility can have an impact on design and the content you produce. Here are a few ways you can make your brand more accessible to customers.

1. Website Copy

Clear Text

Be intentional when structuring your website copy. You want to ensure the message you’re creating is transparent and clear. Big blocks of text can be challenging to read, which may cause your audience to leave.

You can structure your copy by breaking up the text with descriptive headlines. Keep in mind that headlines should be big enough to see as well. By breaking up your copy with clear headlines, you’re making the reader experience more pleasurable.

Describing Images

For images, it’s essential to add alt-text descriptions for visually impaired individuals. Visually impaired people use screen readers to scan through the content.

Take measures to add alt-text, so a description explains the image placed within the content. This tactic helps individuals to find and sort through images when reading your copy.

Descriptive Links

Additionally, your brand can provide more access by writing descriptive links. Links that say “click here” need to promote clarity. Visually impaired individuals will have a harder time understanding where those types of links lead to.

You should also ensure your links include longer text as well. While the longer text provides better descriptions, it also helps those with mobility issues. Some people have difficulty clicking through items on a website. When you include longer links, you create a better user experience.

Lastly, avoid confusing your readers with complex messaging. Your writing should be as direct as possible. By creating a clear message, you make it simple for everyone to understand.

2. Website Design

Designing With Contrast

One way of enhancing your design for the visually impaired is to be mindful of colors. When increasing the readability, ensure there is enough contrast between text and background colors. If you’re unsure of which colors to choose, black text on a white background is always a great option to fall back on.

To make navigation easier, create a menu with a bold underline. The purpose is to show a colorblind or low-vision individual where they are on the site. In addition, a combination of both an underline and contrast of shades will significantly improve the visibility.

Designing Forms

If you have a sign-up form on your website, make it possible for users to understand what information to fill out. A form should have clearly defined labels.

Avoid placing text within each form and describe it instead. This method ensures that impaired users know where to fill out their names and email address on the form.

3. Video Content Creation

Adding Captions to Video Content

Captioning is necessary to include in your brand’s video content. Individuals with visual impairments will use screen readers to read captions.

One way of providing captions is to write them yourself or invest in a third party to write them for you. Manual captioning might take time and money, but it’s an excellent way to be sure your captions are clear.

Auto-generated captions are another way of creating video captions. This route makes it simpler for your business by saving time. However, auto-generated captions can include mistakes that might make it confusing for users to understand the content.

Eliminate Flashing From Videos

A burst of flashing light is triggering for photosensitive individuals and can cause seizures. You can avoid these causes by entirely removing flashing from any video you create.

However, if flashing is unavoidable, there are a few steps you can take to ensure compliance. Provide a warning label that notes flashing. Your viewers must be able to see these warnings in captions, descriptions, titles, and at the beginning of the video.

A warning label at all points of the video shows your brand’s awareness of accessibility. As a result, viewers will take notice of your efforts. Plus, they are likely to spend more money on your brand than your competitors.

Action Steps to Take

If your brand is not aware of web accessibility, there are specific actions you can take to get started today. The first step is to learn about the different types of disabilities to understand how to make your brand accessible.

Once you have accessibility in mind, you can learn more ways to be ADA-compliant with your website. When you offer accessibility, you create equality and additional opportunities for everyone.

Eleanor is the editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine. She was the director at a marketing firm prior to becoming a freelance web designer. Eleanor lives in Philly with her husband and dog, Bear.

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