For Content Creators
Content creators have one of the most important roles in maintaining a site’s accessibility. Whether you’re posting a press release, putting together a marketing PDF, or creating a campaign’s landing page, there are many things you can do to make your content more accessible before it goes out the door.
Tips for creating accessible content
Use headings for page structure
Think of your webpage as an outline. Your page title or <h1> tag should be the theme of your page. Subheadings, like <h2> and <h3>, are used to deliver your message.
Functionally, subheadings are great for logically grouping content and for separating extended text. We want to avoid using headings to style our text, and instead only use them to break up our content. We also don’t want to skip heading levels. For example, an <h3> should always follow an <h2>, and never be directly after an <h1>.
Use clear and concise language
Ideally, try to keep your content to a Grade 6 reading level. Use plain language and avoid complicated metaphors and idioms. Figures of speech can be hard for non-native language speakers to interpret.
To help you in this, try using Hemingway App, a free tool helps you simplify your writing. Simply paste your content into the editor, and Hemingway App will highlight the areas of improvement.
If you serve a very technical or niche audience, it may not be possible to write your content to a sixth grade reading level. If you can’t, don’t worry; by simplifying the areas you can and following the F-Pattern, you’re still doing your part to make your content as accessible as possible. In addition, adding a glossary of these technical terms to your site might aid some users understand your content better.
Use informative hyperlinks
Users need to know where the link goes or what the link does. Links should also make sense out of context. Avoid naming links "click here," and instead use phrases like "learn more about abc" or "go to xyz."
Use lists to break up a wall of text.
Select color carefully
- Use colors that are not too bright for cognitively-impaired users
- Provide text when using color for emphasis, e.g. "Alert! Registration Deadline" (red font) for color-blind users and screen readers
Use “back to top” anchors
Use "Back To Top" anchors so that users can find their place readily on long pages.
Prepare downloadable file and label the link
- Make Microsoft Word documents accessible before posting or saving as PDF
- Make PDF files accessible using Adobe Acrobat Pro
- On the web page where the file is hosted, add a label (PDF) or (DOC) after the link, e.g., Download Report (PDF)