Thursday, February 02, 2006

The Secret Benefit Of Accessibility Part 1: Increased Usability

Benefits of accessibility extend into usability as well...

"Web accessibility has so many benefits that I really do wonder why such a large number of websites have such diabolically bad accessibility. One of the main benefits is increased usability, which according to usability guru, Jakob Nielson, can increase the sales/conversion rate of a website by 100% and traffic by 150%.

At which point you must surely be asking, ?So if I make my website accessible its usability will increase and I’ll make more money out of it??. Well, not quite. An accessible website is not automatically more usable but there are many areas of overlap:

1. Descriptive link text

Visually impaired web users can scan web pages by tabbing from link to link and listening to the content of the link text. As such, the link text in an accessible website must always be descriptive of its destination.

Equally, regularly sighted web users don’t read web pages word-for-word, but scan them looking for the information they’re after.

Link text such as ‘Click here’ has poor accessibility and usability as both regularly sighted and visually impaired web users scanning

the paragraph will take no meaning from this link text by itself. Link text that effectively describes its destination is far easier to scan and you can understand the destination of the link without having to read its surrounding words."   continued ...   (Via Webmaster Investments)

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