A Guide to Creating Accessible and Meaningful Web Content
In today’s digital world, having an accessible website is critical to reach a broader audience. Accessibility ensures that everyone, regardless of their abilities, can access and use a website without any barriers.
Forms are an essential part of any website and creating accessible forms using semantic HTML is crucial. Semantic HTML is a coding technique that uses HTML tags that convey meaning, making it easier for assistive technologies, such as screen readers, to understand the content and communicate it to users.
To create accessible HTML forms, there are several key considerations to keep in mind.
1. Use semantic HTML
Semantic HTML refers to using HTML tags that convey meaning rather than just being visual elements. Using semantic HTML is essential for accessibility because it makes it easier for assistive technologies like screen readers to understand the content of a webpage. When creating forms, use the appropriate HTML tags for each form element, such as <label>, <input>, and <textarea>.
For more information on Semantic HTML, you can check out my previous blog post here.
2. Use clear and concise labels
Labels are crucial for ensuring that users can understand the purpose of each form element. Each form element should have a clear and concise label that describes what information the user should enter. When using the <label> tag, make sure the label is associated with the correct form element using the “for” attribute or by wrapping the form element within the <label> tag.
3. Use appropriate form input types
HTML provides several input types that can be used for different types of data. For example, the “email” input type ensures that users enter a valid email address, while the “tel” input type can be used for phone numbers. Using the appropriate input types can help users input data more quickly and easily, especially when using mobile devices.
4. Provide clear instructions
Clear instructions are essential for helping users fill out forms accurately. Consider including a brief description or instructions for each form element that provide additional context and guidance. It can also be helpful to provide feedback or error messages to help users correct any mistakes they make while filling out the form.
5. Ensure keyboard accessibility
Many users with disabilities rely on keyboard navigation to browse the web. As such, it’s crucial to ensure that your forms can be navigated via keyboard alone. Ensure that users can tab through the form elements in a logical order, and provide a visible focus indicator so that users can see which element is currently selected.
6. Consider color contrast
Color contrast is essential for users with visual impairments. Make sure that the text and background colors used in your forms have sufficient contrast to be readable for all users. You can use online tools to check the color contrast ratio ( Contrast Checker ) and ensure that it meets accessibility standards. Download color contrast analyser here (CCA) Color Contrast Analyser Download .
Creating accessible HTML forms is essential for ensuring that everyone, regardless of their abilities, can use your website effectively. By following these tips, you can create forms that are easy to use and understand for all users. Remember, accessibility is not just a legal requirement; it’s an essential aspect of creating an inclusive and welcoming website for all.
For more information on why web accessibility is important in general, you can check out my previous blog post here.
So, What Comes Next?
For further information on how to make your product accessible to your audience, contact our experience design experts, check out our Accessibility IQ for your website, download our guide Digitally Accessible Experiences: Why It Matters and How to Create Them, read more from our UX for Accessible Design series.
Stay in touch and follow my next post: Accessible Links Using Semantic HTML : Building Accessible Websites with Native HTML Part 4 of 5.