Without any surprise, 2020 and 2021 were the years when everything moved online. Companies started working remotely, employees were communicating from different parts of the world, students were taking classes on Zoom, people were ordering food online, doing their grocery shopping in online shops, etc.
With the pandemic, the entire world stopped and focused on the web. This is why most of the web design trends for these years revolve around web development, meaning seeking functionality over a pretty design. However, both design and functionality have a strong effect on accessibility, so let’s take a look at the upcoming trends in the web design and development world all businesses should be aware of.
Accessibility, Accessibility, Accessibility
Until recently, accessibility was something that was just one of the criteria that implied a website is accessible to more than one group of users and well optimized. It was certainly not a high priority that was deciding whether your business or one of the competitors will win over customers.
Now we see so many businesses investing heavily into making their website more accessible, from optimizing the multimedia to changing the overall web design to follow the web design accessibility guidelines. What comes next is to discard all assumptions and expectations you have about your customers. They might not have the most recent technology or be in an ideal setting, so ensuring you provide alternative options for different scenarios will save you a lot of trouble, while also ensuring that users with disabilities can easily navigate the website.
No More Accessibility Overlays
If you think that accessibility is the same as accessibility overlays, you couldn’t be more wrong. Overlays are often a more cosmetic and short-term solution that causes more issues than they solve, whereas accessibility goes right to the core of the problem and ensures your code is accessible and user-friendly.
Although they were preferred solutions for many businesses who simply didn’t have time or resources to dig deeper and approach the problem from the right angle, accessibility overlays will slowly start vanishing. To ensure your customers can understand your business, you will need to stop avoiding problems and find the appropriate solution, which is not an accessibility overlay.
How Bold Are Your Colors?
Finally, a trend that everyone will love! Bold color schemes will rule in 2022 and if you’re asking us, we predict that the trend will continue in the following years as well. This trend can be truly beneficial for accessibility as it creates high contrast visuals, allowing those users with visual impairment to consume the content as well.
Keep in mind that the bold color you opt for is well contrasted with the rest of the colors you use on your website, otherwise, you will have a little freak show that nobody will pay for. Luckily, there are plenty of tools that allow you to check how your selected colors match together and suggest secondary colors based on your principle one.
When talking about colors, there are huge trends that more companies are embracing – gradients. Although they’ve been in and out of style more times than we can count, gradients will be one of the main trends in 2022. The one thing you’ll need to be aware of is that they require manual testing as there is no official background color.
So, if you opt for gradients behind a text, keep in mind that these colors should have minimum contrast requirements. In other words, try to use different shades of the same color or color scheme to avoid too much contrast and poor design.
Using Hamburger Menus
You’ve probably noticed that many websites now have a hamburger menu (☰) as opposed to a sandwich menu (⋮), however, this trend is quite tricky for web design accessibility. As many users are not used to searching for that icon once they land on your website, the hamburger menu will be mostly ignored.
The majority of users still prefer to see the word Menu which indicates they have several options to choose from and find the information they need. Knowing the web design and development trends, hamburger menus will not that easily disappear just because they don’t comply with accessibility. This is why all website owners should avoid the trap my simply using Menu ☰ and provide an inclusive website.
Prioritizing Mobile Over Desktop
There has been so much talk about this that it’s so obvious that mobile is taking the reigns in user experience when considering devices. With more users accessing websites from their smartphones, website owners need to consider web accessibility on mobile devices as well. Are all your elements and icons easily reachable to users with disabilities? Can they easily click on the X to close a pop-up window and go back to reading content on your homepage?
If your answer is ‘no’, then you’ll need to work with your web developers and designers on improving the accessibility for those users accessing from their phones. Also, keep in mind that accessibility doesn’t only improve the experience of users with impairment. As habits of consuming digital content are changing, businesses need to find several solutions to communicate their information if they want to stay relevant and successful.
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