Website Usability and Accessibility | Website Checklist and Guidelines.
Given below are a few
important points to check website accessibility, that need to be
addressed during website design and promotion:
1. Check images for
Ensure that the images
contained in the web pages have relevant alternative text. The web
browsers show the alternative text if the images are turned off. It is
also useful from the search engine indexing point of view.
The users whose browsers
do not support images will be able to see the absence of the image, but
will be unable to find out what purpose it carries.
2. Written transcript as
an alternative to audio and video:
Ensure your website
supplies written transcripts, so that people can understand the message
that your website's conveying even without the speakers turned on. It
will also enable deaf people to understand the contents.
3. Check that forms are
When you click on the
prompt text, the cursor flashes in the box next to that text. If not,
your forms may be inaccessible. For example, if you have a prompt
"Name" in a contact form, by clicking on "Name", the
input box corresponding to the prompt "Name" should flash a
4. Resizing of text:
Does the text on your
website increase in size? To check:
Internet Explorer: View
› Text size Netscape: Edit › Preferences › Appearance › Fonts
Opera: File › Preferences › Fonts › Minimum font size (pixels)
Alternatively, scroll with the wheel of your mouse whilst holding down
the control key.
The Lynx browser is a
text-only browser and doesn't support many of the features that other
browsers such as Internet Explorer have. You can check how your site
looks in this browser with the Lynx Viewer. You should be able to view
the content, and navigate through the web site. Check here: http://www.delorie.com/web/lynxview.html
6. Verify that the site
map is in place.
A site map is vital page
that binds together various parts of your website. It is often used by
search engines and the people browsing the website. Ensure that the site
map is made available.
7. Context sensitive link
Ensure that the link text
is descriptive. Avoid using terms like ‘Click here’ and ‘more’.
Instead use more descriptive terms like "Web page design - common
mistakes" or " Better web page design" etc.
8. Web pages must load
Visitors don't wait for
long to view a web page. Normally, 5-8 seconds is the accepted maximum
download time for a web page. Hints that may shorten your web page
a. Shorter images
b. Use of CSS
c. Breaking long pages
into smaller pages with good navigation etc.
9. Do not restrict the
The following methods are
found to restrict the user:
a. New Windows: Every time a link is opened in a new
window the back button is disabled. This will restrict the user to use
back button. Majority of Web users employ the back button as their
primary means of navigation.
b. Do not use frames. Frames can cause a number of
1. Disabling the back button
2. Bookmarking not possible
3. It is not possible to e-mail the page to someone
else (due to the fact that a page contains several frames).
4. Problems with printing ( It is difficult to print a
page with frames).
5. External links open in the same frame window.
6. Search engine indexing and optimization issues.
10. Use commonly accepted
features such as the following:
a. Home button: Use the
top-left corner image (logo or website name) as the home button to go
back to the home page.
b. Navigation: Use
consistent navigation. Usually, to the left of the text.
c. Use the buttons
"About Us", "Contact Us" etc on the top right of