In today’s world, websites are an important part of one’s business. But to make a website accessible to all, it is necessary to use an accessibility overlay. However, with so many available options and each having its pros and cons, how do you know which is the right type for your site?
The answer: It depends on what kind of information you want users of assistive technology (AT) tools such as screen readers, or Braille displays can access from your site. For instance, if you have a blog where the content changes frequently and needs frequent updates, then using a dynamic text-only overlay might be best because it will stay up-to-date without requiring any time-consuming maintenance. On the other hand, if your web content is only going to change once in a while, then a static text-only overlay might be best.
On the other hand, if you have a lot of information on one screen and it doesn’t change frequently, you might choose a static image-based overlay with alt text that provides more detailed explanations of what the user might see on each screen.
Here are some tips for choosing the best overlay for your website:
1) Use Dynamic Overlays For Websites That Have Content That Will Change Frequently
As mentioned above, using a dynamic overlay lets you make changes to your website without manually updating any images or alt text. Instead, when the user hovers over an item with their mouse, the screen reader will announce what’s under the cursor. If there is information for sighted users that they will need to know, then that information can be included in the text-only version of the dynamic overlay.
2) Use Static Overlays For Websites That Have A Large Amount Of Content On One Page
For websites with a large amount of content on one page, using an overlay with static text and images may be more appropriate.
3) Use Image-Based Overlays With Alt Text To Add Detail To Information That The User Can’t See
This is especially useful for businesses with products, catalogs, or other content where users cannot see what they are looking at. It’s also great if you have a lot of information on one page that doesn’t change.
With alt text, the user will know what they are looking at in more detail with just a glance at their screen reader’s display. Also, if you have an image on your web page that matches the alt text of another image on the same page, screen readers will detect this and announce both images to the user.
4) Remember To Keep In Mind What The User Experience Will Be Like For Blind And Low-Vision Users
Remember that blind and low-vision users might be using screen magnification software to view your website, so try to use big enough font sizes to accommodate this. Also, if you have a lot of information on one page, consider making it easier to find by including headings or tables of contents.
5) Keep In Mind What The User Experience Will Be Like For Colorblind Users
For colorblind users, use colors that are distinguishable for them to be able to tell the difference between items. Also, keep in mind that some people with low vision might not see the color at all, so even if you think it is just black text on a white background, make sure your text is highly contrasted to compensate.