Accessibility in regards to web design is a cornerstone principle of digital design in 2022. It’s important to create an inclusive experience that considers users with disabilities and impairments. This, of course, includes web portals which might be used by communities or stakeholders to engage with your organisation and empower them to access or share their data. Accessibility is critical because it provides equal access to and the ability to participate in 21st-century society. An interface that’s clear and understandable to all users prevents miscommunication and errors that could have a negative experience with your business and their life.
Web accessibility encompasses all disabilities that affect access to the Web, including:
How can you make your web portal accessible to all users?
- Colour contrast – Ensure that text stands out against backgrounds and similar colours don’t bleed into each other. You could try using this tool to find a mixture that suits your design aesthetic: learnui.design/tools/accessible-color-generator.html
- Properly designed forms – Each form input should be spaced out, labels should relate clearly to the input required, and precise instructions before navigating to the form. It should also be clear when fields need certain requirements, or the user may have to go back and forth to understand what is required of them.
- Easy navigation – Users should have menus that are easy to click on, labels that reflect the content and easy to go back to. This could mean including breadcrumb-style link menus as an example or alternative sitemaps that include all links.
- Responsiveness and scaling – It’s important that visually impaired users on a variety of devices are able to view all the contents of the site. This can be done with responsive text sizes, layouts and features such as menu icons that increase or decrease the text size.
- Quality of life improvements – Increasingly, articles or long-form content has features to help all users, such as an indicator on the top of the page that displays reading time. In addition, some websites include recorded audio of the content to listen to as an alternative option.
Accessibility tools and information for your web portal
- holistica11y.com/color/ – Choose contrast between colours and assigns a numerical score to see if it fails WCAG standards
- w3.org/WAI/standards-guidelines/wcag – Learn about the principles of accessibility web standards
- w3.org/WAI/standards-guidelines/wcag – A tool that brings attention and understanding to how colour contrast can affect different people with visual impairments.
- webaccessibility.com – test the overall accessibility of your website with a fast audit
- romeo.elsevier.com/accessibility_checklist Useful checklist for accessibility compliance
- accessibilityinsights.io/docs/web/overview – Chrome, and Edge extension for accessibility insights
How we can help you make your web portal accessible
Whether you are building a fully customised Microsoft Power Portal or using a more off-the-shelf option, its important you consider accessibility and have an understanding of the users who will be accessing your website. It can be quite a minefield, so if you need support, we can support you if you have an existing portal or are planning to deploy one. As specialists in this field, we understand the nuances of the Microsoft Power Platform and can help you to navigate the issues surrounding accessibility in the context of a web portal built on this infrastructure. If this is the case, please get in touch.
Daniel Norris is the communications manager for The Portal Company. His role is to bring you the latest updates, tips, news and guides on Dynamics 365 Portal. If you have any questions, please get in touch with us.