Does Web accessibility hinder design?

Digital Accessibility

Accessibility in any digital environment is something that is often considered and given some attention but isn’t often a core part of the design process.

When I started with Monmouthshire county council and first logged into our site improve account,  I was shocked to find thousands of accessibility issues. To be fair, after a more comprehensive look at these issues, I found that many of these problems were related to colour contrasts or content issues such as alt tags on links and images or correct formatting- tables on the website were pretty poor.

So I decided to battle for Web accessibility!

I did this by ensuring the corporate website redesign had accessibility checks at every stage of the design process and ensured we didn’t miss anything by engaging with the digital accessibility centre based in Neath (I highly recommended them).

This development led to altering the use of our corporate branding guidelines for the web and a full change in the design process.
The original designs were not AAA compliant so I used an online colour contrasts checker to ensure the best colours possible were used within the design. I tested white text on a range of background colours, please download my findings here.

I feel very strongly about ensuring all websites are fully accessible to all. When talking to some web designers about this, there is often a feeling that accessible websites can hinder the design process. I would like to hear others views on this.

I have been studying a masters in digital marketing and also web design at university and feel there has only been brief mentions of how to keep digital accessible (one lecture about accessibility on my masters course and none during my undergraduate degree).

So, what is the future for digital accessibility? Are accessible digital platforms a development concern or an overlooked assumption?

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