The commonly used phrase “perception is reality” tells us that what people believe to be true is true to them, and this applies doubly to digital experiences on the web. Perceived accessibility is a useful principle to discuss and apply to your projects, and failing to do so can be limiting to some users you might be trying to reach.
In this four-part series, we discuss the main principles of accessibility and share examples from past projects. In this post, we will discuss the first principle, namely perception.
What is Perceived Accessibility?
Perceived accessibility is pretty straightforward and deals with experiencing a digital space using the senses. In the realm of accessibility on the web, that means sight, hearing, and touch since these are the relevant senses used when accessing devices.
A good example of making sure perceived accessibility is sound includes using descriptions in calls to action rather than relying on things like visual cues. If you had a red button for cancel and a green button for submit in a form, for instance, but a user is colorblind, then they won’t be able to rely on visual cues to proceed forward.
Updating Perceived Accessibility on a Higher Education Site
Kettering University is a client that partnered with Mediacurrent to improve accessibility, among other features of the website. Following work that met and exceeded expectations for accessibility, the website for Kettering University not only addresses the principle of perceived accessibility but allows users to navigate it in a way that addresses senses.
The site addresses hearing, or those navigating with screen readers, and sight, for those who might need descriptions of images with alternative text versus viewing them outright. New, user-focused site architecture addressed content hierarchies which not only made it more intuitive to browse the site for seeing users but also gave the site a strong base and made it navigable for those using screen readers or tabbing through it.
Additionally, because accessibility was baked into the design, the site is still visually appealing while meeting the needs of all users.
Read the Kettering University case study for more details about our work.
Learn How Mediacurrent Achieves Accessibility
Accessibility as a cornerstone of site design and development achieves many goals, and Mediacurrent’s experienced team can help every step of the way. Learn about our accessibility team and how we can work together with your organization to create a digital experience that exceeds your expectations.