Recap: 2014: A New Year, A New Theme & How To Improve the Accessibility of Your Site

At February’s Metro Detroit WordPress Meetup event at Grand Circus, Deborah Edwards-Onoro walked us through website accessibility and TJ List broke down the new WordPress default theme titled Twenty Fourteen.  Here are my notes for their talks, 2014: A New Year, A New Theme & How To Improve the Accessibility of Your Site.

What is an accessible website?

  • To be accessible a website must be able to be accessed by anybody, from all devices and with any disability.
  • Visitors are accessing websites in a variety of different ways.

Tip #1 – Add meaningful link text

  • No “Learn More”, “More Info”, “Click Here” or “Read More”.
  • Use text that describes what is behind the button, i.e. “Download Financial Aid Application”.

Tip #2 – Add appropriate alternative text to images

  • Add appropriate text when uploading media via WordPress’ dashboard.
  • When hovering over an image in Post Edit screen, click top left icon to pull up Edit Image screen.
  • Leave alternative text empty for placeholders

Tip #3 – Add captions and transcripts to videos

  • Opens up the contents of the video to people that are blind/deaf, also increases SEO as search engines can index content
  • Resources: YouTube, Amara, Cielo, Automatic Sync, 3PlayMedia ($1/min – $2.50/min)
  • 1 hour of video = 6 hours of transcribing

Deborah’s Presentation Slides

New Year, New Theme

Observations

  • Default homepage restricts content and is image heavy
  • Large viewport: website is left justified
  • Medium viewport: no background color/image, menu is hidden
  • Small viewport: a lot of swiping is needed
  • Featured content: can’t feature pages, display is limited to 6 posts
  • Usability: limited options make it hard to break and/or customize
  • Twenty Fourteen as a dress, looks great on a model on the runway
  • Great for photography based websites
  • Simple, clean and legible

Conclusion

  • Beautiful yet not very practical for a business/corporate website
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Author: Cam Cecchini

Cam is the founder of Motor City Mobility, a Metro Detroit-based web design and digital strategy studio. He has a passion for technology, design and local business. Motor City Mobility is the result of those passions coming together. LinkedIn // Google+