The Importance of Inclusivity in Website Design - Making Your Site Accessible to All - Logicsofts

The Importance of Inclusivity in Website Design – Making Your Site Accessible to All

19th February 2024

In today’s digital age, websites serve as the front door to businesses, organisations, and personal ventures. However, the diversity of users accessing these online spaces, including those with disabilities, often goes unconsidered in web design.

In the UK, where digital inclusivity is not just a matter of good practice but also a legal obligation under the Equality Act 2010, designing websites that are accessible to all is paramount.

This blog post delves into the critical importance of inclusivity in website design, providing actionable guidance to ensure your site is accessible to all users, including those who rely on mobility or disability aids for navigation and interaction.

Understanding Web Accessibility

Web accessibility means that websites, tools, and technologies are designed and developed so that people with disabilities can use them. This encompasses all disabilities that affect access to the Web, including auditory, cognitive, neurological, physical, speech, and visual impairments.

An accessible website allows users to perceive, understand, navigate, and interact with the Web and also contribute to the Web. The goal of web accessibility is inclusivity, ensuring everyone has equal access to information and functionality.

Legal Framework in the UK

legal framework

In the UK, the Equality Act 2010 requires service providers, including web-based services, to make reasonable adjustments for disabled people to ensure they are not at a substantial disadvantage compared to non-disabled people.

This legislation underpins the necessity of inclusivity in web design, making it not just an ethical consideration but also a legal one. Additionally, the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018 mandates that public sector websites and mobile apps meet accessibility requirements.

The Business Case for Accessibility

Beyond legal compliance, there are compelling business reasons to prioritise web accessibility. Firstly, accessibility broadens your potential audience reach, including the approximately 14 million people in the UK who have a disability.

An accessible website enhances the user experience for everyone, including older individuals and those with temporary impairments, thus expanding your market. Moreover, accessible websites tend to rank better in search engine results, as they provide a better user experience, which is a key factor in search engine optimisation (SEO).

Lastly, focusing on accessibility can enhance your brand’s reputation, demonstrating a commitment to equality and corporate social responsibility.

Key Principles of Accessible Web Design

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 provides a comprehensive framework for making web content more accessible to people with disabilities. The guidelines are organised around four principles, often referred to by the acronym POUR: Perceivable, Operable, Understandable, and Robust.

Perceivable: Information and user interface components must be presented to users in ways they can perceive. This means providing text alternatives for non-text content, creating content that can be presented in different ways without losing information, and making it easier for users to see and hear content.

Operable: User interface components and navigation must be operable. This includes making all functionality available from a keyboard, giving users enough time to read and use content, and not designing content in a way that is known to cause seizures.

Understandable: Information and the operation of the user interface must be understandable. This involves making text readable and understandable, making web pages appear and operate in predictable ways, and helping users avoid and correct mistakes.

Robust: Content must be robust enough that it can be interpreted reliably by a wide variety of user agents, including assistive technologies. This means ensuring compatibility with current and future user tools.

Practical Steps to Improve Your Website’s Accessibility


Perform an Accessibility Audit

An accessibility audit is the first step toward understanding how accessible your website currently is and what improvements are needed. Tools like WAVE (Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool) or AXE provide an automated analysis of your web pages, highlighting areas that do not meet web accessibility standards.

While these tools offer valuable insights, remember that automated testing might not catch every issue. It’s recommended to complement these tools with manual testing and user feedback to ensure comprehensive accessibility.

Use Semantic HTML

Semantic HTML involves using HTML elements for their given purpose, such as <header>, <footer>, <nav>, and <article>, to structure your website content logically. This practice helps assistive technologies understand the layout and meaning of your web content, enabling features like screen readers to convey information accurately to users. For instance, using <h1> to <h6> tags to structure headings not only improves SEO but also allows users with screen readers to navigate through the content more effectively.

Ensure Keyboard Navigation

Keyboard navigation is essential for users who cannot use a mouse due to physical disabilities or personal preferences. Your website should be navigable using keyboard shortcuts, with a logical tab order and the ability to access all interactive elements.

This includes links, buttons, forms, and any custom widgets. Implementing focus styles, such as outlines around focused elements, helps users visually track where they are on the page.

Provide Text Alternatives for Non-text Content

Text alternatives (alt text) for non-text content like images, videos, and audio files are crucial for users who rely on screen readers. Alt text should concisely describe the content or function of the non-text element, allowing users to understand its context within the page. For complex graphics like charts or infographics, consider providing longer descriptions nearby or using a link to a detailed description.

Ensure Sufficient Contrast

The visual contrast between text and its background is vital for users with low vision or colour blindness. Ensuring that text stands out against the background improves readability.

The WCAG 2.1 guidelines suggest a minimum contrast ratio of 4.5:1 for normal text and 3:1 for large text. There are online tools available to check the contrast ratio of your web elements, helping you adjust colours to meet these recommendations.

Create Accessible Forms

Forms are a common element on websites and need to be accessible to everyone. This includes clearly labeling each field, providing instructions at the start of the form, and using field sets and legends for grouped inputs (like radio buttons). Error messages should be specific, indicating what went wrong and how to fix it. Consider also implementing real-time validation to assist users in completing the form without errors.

Use ARIA (Accessible Rich Internet Applications) Landmarks

ARIA landmarks offer a way to identify the main areas of your webpage (such as navigation, search, main content, and forms) to assistive technology users. By assigning roles to page elements, you enhance the semantic information received by screen readers, making navigation more intuitive. However, use ARIA landmarks judiciously and only when native HTML cannot achieve the desired level of accessibility.

Test with Real Users

While automated tools and guidelines provide a solid foundation for accessibility, testing with real users with disabilities offers invaluable insights. Such testing can uncover nuanced usability issues not detected by automated tools. Recruit a diverse group of users with various disabilities to use your website and provide feedback. This direct input is critical for understanding practical challenges and improving the overall accessibility of your site.


Inclusivity in website design is not just a beneficial practice but a necessary one. Making your website accessible to all, including those with disabilities, is a step towards creating a more inclusive digital world.

By following the principles and practical steps outlined above, businesses and individuals in the UK can ensure their websites are compliant with legal standards.


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Author : Abhay

Abhay is a Digital Marketing Guru and an accomplished entrepreneur with an experience of a decade working with various businesses varying from startups to established brands. He co-founded many companies like Logicsofts, PrintYo, CrazyRise and more. He is passionate about SEO and Online Data Analytics, which plays a vital role in any business to grow and mutate as per the data results.
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