I don’t blame anyone who uses the “accessible websites are ugly” excuse as their main reason to not make their website open to the disabled. I also thought this after going through accessible websites and cringing at the next even more than the previous. I mean, who wouldn’t fear for their design after seeing such ‘gorgeous creations’ such as this website for accessible web design, Disabled World, and ADA. Not that these are bad websites, don’t get me wrong. They all serve an admirable purpose, but they’re also about as attractive as a fruit cup in a donut shop.
But it doesn’t always have to be functionality over form, as I later learned while researching the best designed accessible websites, and was pleasantly surprised to find some major companies with unique designs that were eye-catching, aesthetic, and best of all, accessible. Care to see a few?
Take a look at Campaign Monitor,
and even Apple.
All of these are just a fraction of all the websites you can find on the Web that are both accessible and well designed.
Now if you’re nitpicky you may be thinking “but I’ve seen much more creative designs on non-accessible websites!” And you’re probably right, but I bet you’ve also seen less creative designs on non-accessible websites.
I couldn’t have said it better than the DO-IT (Disabilities, Opportunities, Inter-networking, and Technology) Center, which accurately stated:
Both accessible and inaccessible websites can be ugly and boring. And, there are both accessible and inaccessible websites that are attractive and creative in design.
That’s right, folks. Your website can look terrible whether it’s accessible or not, so no using that as your main excuse. What you can grumble about is the extra time it takes to learn about the standards for an accessible design, such as contrast, proper header usage, font sizes, and proper menu structures. But honestly, most of what makes for good accessibility also makes for good usability. Plus, what downside could there possible be of have a well-built website that more people have access to? Here’s a hint: none.