Learn how to leverage the inherent accessibility of HTML documents in this tutorial by Clarissa Peterson, a Chicago-based designer who specializes in user experience and content strategy.
Screen Reader: “ANIMALS” — You are currently on a text element. “1870” — You are currently on a text element. “heading level 2 Animals Arrive” — You are currently on a heading level 2.
Look at the page. Is everything in an order that makes sense? Does everything still work properly? The content should still be easy to read and navigate.
Not everything on the web is actually a web page. You’ll often see other document types included in or linked to from websites, such as PDFs or Microsoft Word documents. Generally, a well-written HTML page is going to be more accessible than other document types.
(Best Practice) You should generally put all of your content on actual web pages unless you have a good reason why another document type is more appropriate. And if you do use another document type, you’ll have to do some work to make it accessible, just as you would for a web page. PDFs are meant to be printed. So use that format only for those things that will be printed, such as a flyer that’s meant to be posted or a form that needs to be mailed in. Keep in mind that if someone is viewing a PDF on a phone, it will be too small to read. So that content should also be available on a regular web page.
Of course, HTML pages can be printed. So you may not need a PDF at all. (Best Practice) If you do have to post a PDF, you’ll have to make sure that the PDF document itself is accessible.
We won’t cover that here, but check out the Resources section for more information. Try to avoid proprietary formats, like Microsoft Word or Excel, as not everyone will have the correct software on their computer to even open the files.
For more tips, check out our Resources section for links to articles and other tutorials that can help you expand on the concepts we’ve covered here. Thanks so much for watching. Don’t forget to check out the other Take 5 videos as well as the entire course catalog here at Gymnasium.