Website Accessibility Best Practices

From writing/formatting content to design recommendations, here is a list best practices that you can use to increase the overall accessibility of your website. 

Writing tips that could help improve your website accessibility

  1. Website content
    1. Make your webpage easy to scan
    2. Cut your content down to only core components
    3. Use clear and simple language.
    4. Write short sentences.
    5. Limit each paragraph to one idea. Your initial paragraph is the most important one.
    6. Write in an inverted pyramid structure. Most important information first, more detailed information later.
    7. Always try to write in conversational tone (first or second person).
    8. Try to avoid technical jargon.
    9. Emphasize keywords.
  2. Webpage structure
    1. Front-load content - put conclusions first, followed by what, how, why…
    2. Use descriptive sub-headings to break up content (use bullets, lists and anchors when applicable to break-up content)
    3. Left align text for readability. Centered or justified text is difficult to read.
  3. Webpage elements
    1. Use short headlines that are concise and direct (headlines should be able to stand on their own).
    2. Use meaningful link text. This is crucial for accessibility.
    3. Avoid using "Click here" for links.
    4. Format text as lists.
    5. Avoid using the space bar to align or indent text.

Design tips that could help improve your website accessibility

Do match your graphics with our basic design elements that uses square images, boxes, etc.
Don't use images with rounded corners, for example.
Do resize images before uploading to the CMS with Photoshop or an online tool.
Don't upload giant images and resize with HTML.
ALL CAPS is considered "shouting" on the web. Don't do it.
Do use our pre-defined styles and features.
Don't reinvent the wheel or use unsupported features and scripts.
Do keep rotating scripts to just one.
Don't have more than 1 thing rotating on a page at a time.

Learn more about resources and best practices about Website Accessibility on the University of California Office of the President's website.

Accessibility Compliance Testing