Carrying out the assessments of the UK’s main newspaper websites for this week’s features on website accessibility for the blind, each site had its own advantages and disadvantages.
In the planning of this project, several web accessibility specialists stressed to me that improving the accessibility of a website for blind users, would improve its usability for all visitors.
This idea applied to the Independent’s site more than any of the others we reviewed. Our volunteers picked up on so many things that put me off browsing the site regularly that I had never quite put my finger on before.
A jumble of section headings on the homepage, links that have no context, the inconsistency of the blogs pages – none of these features improve access to the site for any reader.
A stronger, more standardised design taking these issues into account would be a wise move as part of the site’s redesign and would no doubt encourage readers on the site to stick around longer.