In web design, aesthetics have long taken center stage. Mesmerizing visuals, eye-catching animations, and sleek layouts are undeniably captivating. However, beyond the visual charm lies a vital component that is often overlooked: the integration of accessibility into web design.

This blog dives into the heart of accessible web design. We’ll look into how web designers can create websites that are not just aesthetically pleasing, but accessible, inclusive and user-centric. We’ll explore the definition of inclusive web design and share some accessible best practices that will enhance the user experience.

Whether you’re a seasoned web designer, developer or business owner, read on to discover web design best practice and how to blend aesthetics with accessibility.

Are you doing accessible web design right?

Did you know that about 15% of the world’s population live with some form of disability? That’s a staggering number, translating to roughly one in every seven individuals.

Unfortunately, a large number of websites present barriers for people with disabilities, being built without adequate consideration for accessibility. This oversight deepens the digital divide, hindering many individuals from accessing vital information and services. 

By prioritizing accessibility in your web design, you open the doors to a wider and more diverse audience. Creating an accessible website allows all potential users to engage with your content and signals a strong commitment to inclusivity. How can we further understand the importance of making our web spaces accessible to everyone?

Why does web accessibility matter?

Beyond the ethical responsibility of ensuring that all users, regardless of their abilities, can access and benefit from your content, there’s a practical aspect to consider. 

An inclusive website can result in higher traffic, increased engagement, and, for businesses, a broader customer base. Furthermore, in many regions, web accessibility isn’t just a best practice—it’s a legal requirement. 

Many businesses are obligated under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to make sure their places and services are accessible for everyone, regardless of physical or cognitive disabilities. Let’s take a closer look at ADA compliance in web design.

What is ADA compliance in web design?

Introduced in 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) stands as a pivotal civil rights legislation ensuring equal access and opportunities in services, public accommodations, and employment for individuals with disabilities.

Entities falling under the ADA’s umbrella include:

– Private sector employers

– State and municipal governments

– Commercial establishments

Although the ADA doesn’t explicitly list out the benchmarks for website compliance, U.S. judicial decisions often cite the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) as the touchstone for website adherence. How can WCAG can help with accessible web design?

The WCAG website design checklist

In today’s digital landscape, web accessibility isn’t just a buzzword—it’s a necessity. Ever wondered how to make your designs not just beautiful but universally accessible? Enter the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), your roadmap to creating a web experience that’s inclusive and user-friendly. Here, we’re diving into the heart of WCAG principles, showing you how to make your site navigable and enjoyable for everyone, including those with accessibility needs.

Mastering website navigation best practices

Navigating a website shouldn’t feel like solving a puzzle. The best navigation is like a well-organized bookshelf: clear, intuitive, and easy to browse. That’s what WCAG aims for—making sure users can find what they’re after without breaking a sweat, no matter what challenges they might be facing.

The Four Pillars of WCAG: A Blueprint for Inclusive Design

WCAG lays its foundation on four cornerstone principles. These are:


– Boost your text contrast to make it easily discernible.

– Don’t ignore non-text elements; give them descriptive text alternatives.

– Multimedia gets more engaging with captions and auditory descriptions.

– Ensure your content is adaptable, maintaining its essence when customized.

– Eliminate ambiguity by making content visible and distinguishable.


– Unlock full keyboard functionality for seamless navigation.

– Give users the gift of time to read and interact with your content.

– Design responsibly: avoid elements that could trigger seizures.

– Empower users with intuitive tools to help them find their way around.


– Keep your text as simple as your morning coffee—readable and to the point.

– Consistency is key—uniform UI components make for a cohesive user experience.

– Cut the jargon and go for straightforward language.

– Assist users with helpful cues for complex tasks and navigation.


– Future-proof your designs by maximizing compatibility with emerging tech.

– Make your content a best friend to assistive technologies.

– Test, iterate, and validate—because the digital world never stands still.

By embracing WCAG principles, you’re not just ticking off a checklist—you’re crafting a digital experience where inclusivity takes center stage. Adding accessibility into your web designs means that everyone, regardless of ability, can navigate, understand, and engage with your content – seamlessly. Isn’t it empowering to know that your design can be a gateway to information and interaction for everyone?

How to move towards inclusive web design

For web designers, there are 3 main steps to consider when beginning your journey towards embedding accessibility into your web designs:

1. Audits and scans

Begin your accessibility journey with a thorough audit. Tools like UserWay’s Web Accessibility Checker are invaluable in scanning your website to identify any accessibility shortcomings. These tools will offer insights into where your site might be falling short in offering a universally friendly user experience.

2. Accessibility widgets

Accessibility Widgets are AI-driven tools that fine-tune your websites.  They can help make your sites compliant with the global gold standards of web accessibility, including WCAG 2.1 and 2.2, ADA, and EN 301 549. Leveraging an Accessibility Widget, such as UserWay’s AI Pro Widget, can significantly advance your efforts in both web design and accessibility compliance.

3. Consult the accessibility experts

Understanding the nuances of ADA compliance and web accessibility can be a complex task for web designers. While designers can lay foundational structures and tools can scan for basic compliance, it’s a seasoned accessibility expert that will help to safeguard you against expensive oversights and ensure your web designs remain user-friendly and adaptable to changing accessibility regulations. 

Making the web accessible is an ongoing journey, not just a destination. As you enhance your website’s inclusivity, you’re actively playing a part in making the internet a more inclusive place for all users. 

UserWay: adding accessibility into web design 

Embedding accessibility into your websites is important for every web designer.  UserWay’s solutions help you easily meet web accessibility standards and show yourself as true champion of inclusive web design. Curious about how to elevate your web design with accessibility? Request a demo today and see how easily you can blend the aesthetics of web design with accessibility.


Does accessible website design hurt the overall user experience?

Absolutely not. Accessible web design often results in cleaner, more streamlined pages. This not only aids those with disabilities but also enhances the user experience for everyone, promoting easier content consumption and navigation.

Is accessible web design the only important thing to address?

While crucial, web accessibility is just one aspect. Developers often collaborate with third-party providers to integrate advanced assistive technologies. These partnerships further ensure websites cater to users with diverse needs.

What can happen if you don’t invest in fixing accessibility violations?

Neglecting ADA standards can lead to hefty lawsuits and extended legal disputes. This applies to businesses of all sizes. Adhering to ADA guidelines isn’t just ethical—it’s a sound business decision to safeguard your company.

Start with a good web design