Accessibility is an important issue for millions of people. But it’s not just a matter of making websites usable by disabled individuals. The accessibility overlay of a website can have a huge impact on all users, including those with limited vision or motor skills and even children.
In this post, we will explore how overlays can be used to improve the accessibility of your site and provide tips for how you should implement them in your designs. After reading this article, we hope that you will feel armed with knowledge about what needs to be done to make sure that everyone has access to your site.
Understand Your Content
Understand Your Users
When designing overlays, you must understand who will see them and why they are being triggered. From the outset, design accordingly based on this knowledge of who will view your overlay and the purpose it will serve. Work with your client to create user personas to have a clear idea of who your users are and what their goals are. From there, design appropriate overlays which achieve those goals as quickly as possible without getting in the way of the underlying site content.
In addition, think about how frequently you need to show an overlay to a user before using the website independently. Is this something they need to see every time they visit? If so, consider showing them a modal overlay that closes automatically once used. For less critical components, consider using inline elements within the page or placeholders, which allow for more flexibility – either have them disappear once certain conditions have been met or display them at timed intervals.
Focus On The Core Functionality
When designing an overlay, it’s easy to get carried away, adding additional features or interactions that can quickly lead to a poor user experience. Do you need the overlay to be interactive, or would it serve its purpose if it was just instructional? Is there another way to convey your message so that users don’t have to interact with the overlay? If you use interaction, ensure that the design is simple and efficient, so users are not put off by having too many things they need to do before getting their core content.
Overlays should only appear when necessary. Make sure they only display on certain conditions, such as when content isn’t available on the current page or when an error has occurred. Don’t show them needlessly, or you’ll lose their effectiveness.