Since 1996 when the Disability Discrimination Act was brought into practice, web developers have had to adapt their practice to meet particular legal requirements and ensure that their websites are accessible for all people regardless of disability. In 2010 this law was updated and merged with the Equality Act, so 6 years later what has changed?
Website design has changed considerably since the implementation of the new legislation. Lots of design aspects that used to be at the core of Web design have since been phased out and removed completely including Flash animation that may have contained embedded text, unable to be selected for text to speech software. Instead, website design has shifted to intuitive design features which have made it much easier for everyone to use. These design features have been based partly on the phased out, older, Flash based animations, for example buttons and animated widgets.
In the early 2000s, website colour schemes were often chaotic if not completely off putting. In modern web design, the ability to read clearly all of the text on a page has taken paramount position over colour scheme and for that reason we see a lot of bland and pale coloured websites. This makes it easier for accessibility options as the text is clearer to access text to speech software, and the pages can be enlarged and zoomed in without losing quality.
Websites are designed with adaptability in mind. Not only do users access web content on a variety of platforms but they also need to be able to alter the screen in terms of resolution, font size and coloured overlays. Good web design takes this element of user need into consideration when planning and developing new websites, ensuring quality across resolutions, sizes and colours.
Some good web designers build accessibility options into the website itself, and this can provide accessibility choices for people who need them.
Web design has changed in several ways, both directly and indirectly because of the 2010 Equality Act, but this has improved some elements of web design overall while making all websites suitable for all people.
For help making your website accessible, don’t hesitate to contact Pumpkin Web Design today.