paint-brush
Design Philosophies You Should Embrace When Creating Web Applications For Users With Disabilitiesby@ssukhpinder
297 reads

Design Philosophies You Should Embrace When Creating Web Applications For Users With Disabilities

by Sukhpinder Singh4mMarch 22nd, 2023
Read on Terminal Reader
Read this story w/o Javascript
tldt arrow

Too Long; Didn't Read

This article demonstrates the best practices for developing accessible web apps. Use semantic HTML to help screen reader users grasp the material better. Use ARIA attributes (Accessible Rich Internet Applications) to add accessibility information to online content. Make forms accessible by providing clear and descriptive labels for all form elements.
featured image - Design Philosophies You Should Embrace When Creating Web Applications For Users With Disabilities
Sukhpinder Singh HackerNoon profile picture
0-item
1-item

It might be challenging to create an accessible online application in .NET, but ensuring that all users can view your web content is critical, especially if those users have visual, auditory, or movement limitations. Here are some things to keep in mind when developing accessible web apps.

Use Semantic HTML

The usage of semantic HTML is the first step in developing an accessible online application. Semantic HTML is markup that explains the stuff it represents properly.


Semantic HTML allows screen reader users to grasp the material on your web page better. For example, for headers, use heading tags (H1, H2, H3, etc.) and for lists, use lists (UL, OL).


<!-- Bad Example -->
<div>
  <span>My Heading</span>
  <p>Some text here</p>
</div>

<!-- Good Example -->
<h1>My Heading</h1>
<p>Some text here</p>

Use ARIA attributes

ARIA characteristics (Accessible Rich Internet Applications) are a robust technique for adding accessibility information to online content that HTML alone cannot express. These characteristics can give critical information about a web page's purpose, condition, and properties.


The information is especially crucial for screen reader users since it allows them to explore and engage with the website more efficiently. The website should be accessible and inclusive to all visitors, regardless of their skills, by including ARIA properties in your web development process.


<!-- Bad Example -->
<div role="button" onclick="doSomething()">Click me</div>

<!-- Good Example -->
<button role="button" onclick="doSomething()">Click me</button>

Make forms accessible

Web forms are a critical component of many web applications. To make them accessible to users with screen readers, it's crucial to provide clear and descriptive labels for all form elements. It enables users to understand the purpose of each field and complete the form accurately.



Equally important is the need for clear and informative error messages that explain what went wrong and how to fix it. Implementing these practices ensures that all users, including those with disabilities, can successfully interact with your web forms and achieve their intended goals.


<!-- Bad Example -->
<input type="text">

<!-- Good Example -->
<label for="username">Username:</label>
<input type="text" id="username" name="username">
/* Style required fields with a visual cue */
input[required] {
  border: 2px solid red;
}

Ensure color contrast

Ensuring adequate color contrast is paramount for readability, especially for individuals with visual impairments. To optimize legibility, it is essential to achieve a sufficient contrast between the text and background colors.



A color contrast checker tool is recommended to ensure your website adheres to the minimum contrast requirements. By prioritizing color contrast, it can improve the accessibility and inclusivity of your website for individuals with varying levels of visual abilities.


/* Bad Example */
body {
  background-color: #777;
  color: #666;
}

/* Good Example */
body {
  background-color: #f5f5f5;
  color: #333;
}

Use descriptive alt text

While images are a crucial component of web design, they can pose accessibility challenges without descriptive alt text. Alt text is critical for screen readers to convey information about the image to users. To optimize accessibility, it is essential to use descriptive alt text that accurately describes the image's content.


This ensures that users with visual impairments can fully understand the content and context of the image. Incorporating descriptive alt text into your web development process can improve the overall accessibility and inclusivity of your website.


<!-- Bad Example -->
<img src="image.png">

<!-- Good Example -->
<img src="image.png" alt="A happy dog playing in the park">

Ensure keyboard navigation


Web accessibility must include keyboard navigation, especially for those who rely on it to navigate web pages due to motor limitations. Use only the Tab and Arrow keys to browse your page to test keyboard navigation. By doing this, it will be able to spot any keyboard navigation accessibility difficulties and make the required corrections to ensure everyone can utilize your website's navigation and user interface.


<!-- Bad Example -->
<div onclick="doSomething()">Click me</div>

<!-- Good Example -->
<button onclick="doSomething()">Click me</button>
/* Highlight focused elements for keyboard users */
*:focus {
  outline: 2px solid blue;
}

Summary

To create an accessible web application in .NET, developers must prioritize accessibility best practices. These include utilizing semantic HTML, implementing keyboard navigation, incorporating descriptive alt text, ensuring sufficient color contrast, making forms accessible, using ARIA attributes, and thoroughly testing with assistive technologies. By implementing these steps, developers can ensure that their web applications are inclusive and accessible to all users, including those with disabilities.


Also published here.