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In this \article I’m going to take you how to make your law firm website accessible and welcoming to all.
If your law firm website isn’t accessible to all users you could be sued for discrimination - commercial reasons aside there are also ethical reasons why you should comply to the Equality Act 2010. These laws have been introduced to deal with the issue of disability discrimination.
If a website is designed, coded and produced properly people with disabilities can use them. Making your website accessible benefits everyone, by removing accessibility barriers and opens up your markets, here are a few stats to consider;
The above figures don't include users with temporary injuries like a broken arm. There’s no reason to exclude anybody.
Start by understanding how visitors to your website who may have a disability interact with it;
A good way to comply is to have your website tested by a group of users with motor and cognitive disabilities, blindness and other forms of visual impairment.
For further reading please visit the W3C working draft which describes best practices for making your law firm website accessible.
Below is a list of basic features you can do now to make your website accessible and welcoming to all.
When you are adding images via your content management system you will more than likely see a box that says “Alt Text”. This will allow you to add text which gives context and describes what the image is. This is then picked up by screen readers for those users who would have otherwise missed the image.
Worth noting alt text will help improve your site’s rankings in search engines.
Recorded, live video or slides with audio should have:
Recorded video or slides without audio should have text descriptions or effective audio descriptions.
Recorded audio needs effective text descriptions and real time captioning.
If you would like to learn more about this please visit WCAG 2.0’s guideline 1.2, on Time-based Media.
Your website should work without a mouse, this means if you want to be compliant your website’s features should be accessible via a keyboard only.
This is done by coding the pages so that users can navigate your website with their keyboard Tab keys. Pressing the Tab key allows your users to quickly jump to different sections on your law firm website.
When creating your online forms you need to make sure that each field is clearly labelled with what you would like to be entered. Then place your field titles or labels adjacent to its field.
Make sure you have a high contrast colour for the “send button”.
Some users prefer specific colour combinations and others find it difficult to read text on certain backgrounds. If you can provide a feature on your website that allows users to change these combinations themselves then you can’t go too far wrong.
In general you will need strong contrasts for users with poor eyesight and slightly less contrast or colour combinations for those with dyslexia.
This survey is being conducted solely for the law firm online marketing community. The subsequent report will highlight key trends, stats and averages, allowing law firms to benchmark themselves against their peers. It’s fantastic opportunity to reflect the reality of the online marketing community capturing your successes, challenges and expectations of the year ahead.
This is not about you all as competitors but as a community who can learn from each other in an open and sharing way. Here is a sample of what we will provide for you:
The survey takes about 7 minutes to complete and as a thank you for taking part, you'll receive a copy of the full results.
Remember if you have any questions about your websites redesign - you can start a conversation on 0131 454 3311 or just add your contact details here and we'll get back to you.