Using the content management system, in which all pages are driven by a template and style is controlled through a style sheet, has helped make MSU's site more accessible to all users. Many accessibility features have been implemented as part of the template, so that individual Web authors can focus on creating accurate and meaningful content. However, accessibility should still be an important consideration as Web content is developed.
Here are a few tips that will improve the accessibility of your content:
Web pages should be designed so that any information conveyed with color is also available without color. In other words, if your pages are viewed on a black and white monitor, or by a colorblind person, all of the information should be accessible.
- The recommended style for University pages is primarily black text on a white background, using the Verdana font. Background images should be used sparingly as they may interfere with the readability of text. Generally, this is controlled through the style sheet. >> More information on applying styles
- Pages should be designed so that they do not cause the screen to flicker. Flashing animations, may not be used.
- Pages that require a specific applet, plug-in or other application for some information to be accessed must provide a link for obtaining the applet, plug-in or application.
- If you use tables for your layout, use percentage sizing for tables, rather than absolute sizing. For example, for a table that you want to fill the entire page, use 100% rather than 750 pixels. This way, as people adjust their preferred text size, your page will grow to meet their needs.
- The text sizes you see in the "Apply Styles" box are relative sizes, so that the user can more easily adjust the font size using their browser.
- Alternative text for images or "alt tags" - the CMS makes this easy, as you are required to enter a description when you upload pictures into your library. Keep in mind that these descriptions are what will be displayed if a user has images turned off, or will be read by a screen reader, so make those as user-friendly and as clear as possible.
If you have specific questions about accessibility, usability or need design advice for your Web content, contact April Hobbs Nutter, Web marketing director, at 606.783.9351, firstname.lastname@example.org.