Accessibility & Findability: Tag Team Champs

Tag Team Champions! (image licensed to Public Domain)

In web design we often think about Accessibility as a way to increase usability for a variety of users from all walks of life, which benefits the website owner in increasing the audience it can reach but also benefits everyone to ensure that people don’t miss out on content they might like to see. Another aspect that people don’t think about as often is how it can benefit the findability of a page.

One of the most common features of accessibility we think about is how our pages are handled by screen readers. We provide alt attributes to our <img> tags to ensure that the visually impaired don’t miss out on information located inside of images uploaded on the site. We can add <acronym> or <abbr> tags to help screen readers understand what the meaning of abbreviations and acronyms stand for, an example of this is using <abbr title="Western Australia">WA</abbr> helps a screen reader know what the abbreviation WA stands for Western Australia.

Search engines use ‘robots’ known as crawlers or spiders to index your website and figure out what your content is in order to make it searchable. Much like blind users who can’t see an image, these robots can’t get information from an image itself, but can get the information from the alt attribute. They could also realise that the text WA stands for Western Australia if you used the <abbr> tag example in the previous paragraph.

This is just another reason to ensure you follow accessibility guidelines when writing your website to make sure your website reaches the largest audience and wins that championship belt.

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4 Comments

  1. Pat

    interesting blog, even more interesting picture choice, i am pondering

  2. Zainab

    Interesting read, I’ll have to apply some of these suggestions to my site

  3. Steve

    Great article with an even better picture.
    Good read!

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