A few steps you can take to make your site more accessible

Piranha Designs - Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Accessibility can be a tricky subject for many online business owners to get to grips with, what with all of the complexity inherent in how screen readers and voice command applications work.

The good news, though, is that you don’t necessarily need an in-depth appreciation of accessibility principles to tweak your site to be usable by as broad an audience as possible. In fact, the following steps can go a long way towards accomplishing that.

Make your buttons standard HTML

Buttons are vital for triggering actions on your site. Such actions may include sending messages, saving progress and opening panels, among other things, but it’s important to remember that it is buttons that make such actions possible.

It’s therefore also vital that the broadest range of visitors to your site can make use of its buttons. That’s why you should ensure your buttons are always standard HTML buttons. These are the buttons that are natively usable from the keyboard, with the browser and operating system already knowing what to do with such a button element.

Ensure your site’s links are only ever links

Links serve a specific purpose on your site, much like buttons do, although that purpose naturally differs: they take you somewhere. You can also use them natively from the keyboard – again, just like buttons.

Does that mean it’s a good idea to use a link to perform some of your site’s button-like actions? The short answer to that is “no”.

While a sighted user may not be able to differentiate between an actual HTML button and a link that merely resembles a button, the screen reader will tell its user exactly whether the element is a link or a button. The user may therefore expect the element to behave like a link, rather than a button, and if the response they get isn’t what they expected, this can make your site frustrating to use.

Provide labels for everything on the site

Take a look at one of the forms on your site – if there is one. Is there text next to the form fields, to make clear what each of those fields is for? Then, click on the text – by which we do mean the text, rather than the field itself. If your cursor automatically moves into the input field, you can be sure that the field is appropriately labelled.

An unlabelled form creates problems for a screen reader user, who won’t be able to tell what belongs in each field except by exploring the rest of the site for any other helpful text.

Even if you implement all of the above tips, you won’t necessarily have a perfectly accessible website – but such advice should nonetheless serve as useful inspiration for when you do come to design or alter your site specifically with accessibility issues in mind.

Why not ask the Piranha Designs team today about the custom web design solutions that we can provide for you, in accordance with your most demanding requirements?

How can you make your ecommerce store more ‘Millennial-friendly’?

Piranha Designs - Tuesday, May 08, 2018

Having been born between the early 1980s and the early 2000s, Millennials are now largely aged in their 20s and 30s – meaning they wield very significant online buying power.

It’s therefore no surprise that so many owners of ecommerce stores are wondering what they can do to better appeal to Millennial shoppers online.

Here are some of the best ways for your online store to attract and convert more Millennials without alienating other age groups.

Make your entire store usable on mobile

When we say ‘usable’, we mean the user experience on your mobile site should be every bit as impressive as what your desktop site offers up.

After all, almost nine in 10 of those in the UK aged between 25 and 34 now own a smartphone, so swift loading times and almost effortless navigation are musts.

Encourage site visitors to participate

Millennials don’t just listen to their peers attentively when they’re seeking product or service recommendations – they also like to publish their own content and have it shared and appreciated.

That’s why any good ecommerce store from a Millennial perspective is likely to incorporate a lot of user-generated content such as customer reviews, photos and videos of the product in question.

Such participation from site visitors and customers can be encouraged with the inclusion of features like social sharing buttons, forum-style discussions and user Q&As. It can all help to keep Millennial visitors on your site’s pages for longer, as well as make them more likely to purchase.

Use engaging and meaningful photos and video

You only need to visit the Apple website to see how possibly the most Millennial-friendly brand of all hooks in customers from this age range with powerful imagery. Nor should this approach be a shock, given that a large proportion of Apple customers don’t buy directly from physical Apple stores.

As for video, about one minute is the sweet-spot length. However, this isn’t as important as the meaningfulness of each video.

Millennials pay a lot of attention to both images and video, and when you use yours to tell the right story – one that answers their questions about a product and how it addresses their needs, while also communicating what makes your brand captivating – you can expect much more engagement.

Be transparent in everything you do

Transparency as to how your company operates – on both the inside and the outside – will be greatly valued by Millennial visitors to your site. This extends to admitting any mistakes that your firm has made in the past, and how it intends to fix them.

There’s much more that Millennials might expect from your ecommerce store than the above elements. Nonetheless, they can hopefully serve as a productive starting point when you contact the Piranha Designs team about how our know-how in website design – including mobile sites – could benefit your brand.


Recent Posts


Tags


Archive

Follow Us

We’d love to hear from you and answer any questions you may have.
Send us an email, stay in touch and follow us on facebook/twitter/linkedin.