Every small and big business today must have a functional and user-friendly website to increase their visibility, build credibility, and reach maximum clients at once. Law firms, in particular, pay less attention to their online visibility and presence. In today’s digital age, a majority of prospective clients depend on web browsing and online search results to fulfill their needs. If your law firm’s website is not accessible, you may lose several clients to your competitor. What does accessibility, in particular, mean?
An accessible website is user-friendly for all types of clients, including the disabled, and provides relevant information to every user. Individuals with cognitive disabilities or other issues can easily retrieve information off the website due to its seamless coding patterns that render the website interactive. Here is what you should do to make your law practice website more accessible for your clients and inquiries.
1. Add the Feature of Keyboard Navigation
Not every user can navigate your website with ease. Since law firms usually have a lot of information on their website in the form of flowcharts and a consistent information architecture format, every user should be able to navigate the site. For this, introduce keyboard navigation that lets users scroll through a web page of their choice. Blind users can access the site with Braille keyboards and interact with every element, namely widgets, anchor text, URLs, CTAs, drop-down menus, and forms.
2. Provide the Option to Enlarge Font Size
This is the easiest and most effective way to make your website more accessible. If users with low vision are given an option to navigate through your website by changing the font sizes, they will wish to return for more information in the future. It is easy to introduce an alternate style sheet and retain your page’s layout. With this, your users can increase or decrease the font size of the information, CTA buttons, and other options. In this way, visitors to your website will have an easy time exploring around.
3. Use Alt Text to Add Images
Visually impaired users are unable to access images and retrieve valuable information from infographics. This is true in most places in the United States, like Indiana where around 150,000 with eye-related concerns reside. If your images or visual elements are not accessible, it can result in a loss of valuable clients and put your law firm on the lawsuit radar. Experienced Fort Wayne personal injury lawyers say that your website should comply with the accessibility guidelines as failing to do so can lead to a lawsuit. Since images make up a significant part of any website, you should add alt text to make them accessible for disabled users. Use software programs that support Braille display or a synthesizer that can easily read texts.
4. Consider Contrast Sensitivity
This option is also suitable for users with low vision. They are often unable to relate to the content and media on a webpage due to the low contrast. In particular, users with issues like diabetic retinopathy, retinitis pigmentosa, cataract, and other visual impairments find it difficult to navigate and gather information off websites with a low contrast ratio between the background and foreground of the page. Use coding languages that allow users to change the contrast ratio. Pay attention to the colors and font thickness.
5. Make the URLs More Descriptive
If your website’s URLs are more descriptive, your users can understand and relate to the displayed media as they are exposed to more context. It enhances readability and guides your user in the right direction. For example, if your website’s “About” page reads with a URL, “www.xyzlawfirm.com/about”, it will have low readability. On the other hand, if it is “www.xyzlawfirm.com/about-our-firm”, it will have higher readability, thereby providing more context to your users.
6. Revamp Multimedia and Video
The images, videos, and multimedia on your website should be accessible in terms of audio and video consumption. Introduce both audio description and visual explanation for blind and deaf users, respectively.
Since images, videos, and other multimedia elements enhance user engagement and drive more traffic, it is necessary to make them more accessible and interactive. At the same time, the added audio description should be short and to the point as lengthy audio can easily bore users. All this can only be added with an accessible multimedia player.
Use these tips to optimize your website and make it more accessible for every kind of user. The users who usually struggle to access websites will not only praise you for your consideration but also help you gain more clients. Today, websites are expected to comply with accessibility factors. Failing to do so will make you a target of ADA accessibility lawsuits. In a way, making a website more accessible will generate more revenue and build your law firm’s credibility. More importantly, you are saving your firm’s face by adhering to the web accessibility criteria and protecting it from a major financial loss.