“Love life and life will love you back.
Love people and they will love you back.„ ~ Arthur Rubinstein
Accessibility & SEO
I have a real passion for creating accessible sites – everyone with a connection to the internet should be able to access your website. This goes beyond browser compatibility for older browsers, but also includes screen-reader friendly websites for the blind, adjustable sites for the visually impaired, and even internet-capable devices like phones.
I first started learning my accessibility techniques in 2003 when I lived in the UK. Legislation was passed in 2002 through the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) that it was “unlawful for a service provider to discriminate against a disabled person by refusing to provide any service which it provides to members of the public.” In the UK there are 3 levels of accessibility — A, AA and AAA of which A is simple and easy to achieve and AAA is the strictest standard and the most difficult to achieve. I can design for any of the three. In the US we have a similar Website Accessibility Initiative (WAI) which has way fewer and slightly different requirements for web design. I aim to apply both AA and WAI to all sites, with AAA being applied if specifically requested.
Did you know there are huge benefits to having a well designed accessible website? These include:
- Your site will be naturally Search Engine Optimised – if it can be easily read and navigated by a screenreader, it can be easily crawled by search engines. If it has no errors, search engines will not get stuck while spidering any pages.
- Highly improved search engine ranking
- Pages load faster and maintenance is easier (therefore cheaper)
- Your website will be more compatible with future technologies which extends its lifespan
- Future site upgrades or redesigns can be much quicker and easier
- It shows you care about your customers and community. You’d be surprised how many people appreciate the effort.
- Your website might even win an award for accessibility! I helped the Kent Walking Festival win an award by producing a AAA site for them.
And remember, an accessible site should never be bland and boring. It should be a rich experience for everyone.
“I have worked with Olivia on and off for nearly five years now. Olivia is fantastic to work with. She is quick and bright, and seems to always gets the brief spot on first time. Her designs are reliably usable, accessible and attractive – she is never over protective of them and understands clients’ needs. She is extremely fast and reliable, and will pull out all the stops if she knows I am in trouble with tight deadlines on a project!”