Ask people what the purpose of their website is, and most will tell you the same thing – to promote their business to prospective clients. But what if something incredibly simple was being overlooked in the design of these pages? Something that would make it accessible to a much wider audience.
So, what is it? Well, you’re looking at it right now. It’s font.
It’s estimated that globally around 75% of people require vision correction with 64% wearing glasses. Add to that the 15% of the population who have dyslexia and other similar impairments and the necessity for accessible reading is staggeringly evident. What is an attractive font to one person can be incredibly difficult for another, so it is imperative that we choose the right font to engage with the widest possible audience.
With this in mind there should be three key areas considered: style, colour and size.
1. When picking a font, how they appear on the page is the first factor in determining what would be the best option. If it makes the content more difficult to read then it should be an automatic no. Avoid decorative choices where it can be difficult to distinguish between characters, or where characters can overlap or join. An easy checker is to type an ‘I’, ‘L’ and ‘1’ or ‘a’ and ‘o’…. If you can’t tell which is which then it needs to be moved to the inaccessible pile!
2. Colour can be a real problem for a lot of people. For those with colour interpretation impairments and processing impairments such as dyslexia, variations in colours can be a particular issue often making text jump around the page and become completely illegible. Consider using alternative visual indicators where possible. Underlining, bolding and italics can all work well without excluding any of your users. Resources such as Siteimprove Color Contrast Checker let you check if your colour choice will work in different settings.
3. Even when all other considerations have been made there will always be those who need to make text larger, this means that a font choice needs to stay clear in different sizes and also that web designers should enable users to increase or decrease font size without having to zoom. As a general rule you want font to be able to be increased to 200% without any loss of clarity.
Developing websites that facilitate maximum usage is key to growth. Not only is this great for business in general but it also promotes equality across the board and encourages greater consideration of inclusivity and varying needs. If you would like some help with font choice or website design, get in touch with Wardman UK today!
Published in Konect November 2021
Author: Wardman UK