Here are some key points I get from Thing 16: Accessibility from The 20 Things You Must Know About Music Online:
Accessibility has long been a subject of web design. It is a rather important component to building a website that anyone and everyone can view. Not everyone has a high speed connection to the internet, a Core i5 equipped tower, or even the ability to see. Building a website that is friendly to all users is a challenging task, but here are some things Dubber recommends:
- Avoid landing pages that serve no purpose and have long load times. This would include things like Flash intros (with a ‘Skip’ button). If you have to add a ‘Skip’ button, chances are it’s not worth slapping on the landing page.
- Take advantage of sites like the Web Accessibility Initiative. They have a lot of great information pertaining to accessibility, and how to make your website more accessible.
- Make sure your website is XHTML compliant.
- Jakob Nielsen’s Use It website also has a lot of great information on the subject of accessibility.
- Check out the CSS Zen Garden for examples of websites that are accessible, but also visually appealing.
Although I don’t mean to scare you, accessibility is actually the law (consult your particular country, state, or province’s laws for more applicable information), much like it is in the workplace. In UK – Dubber points out – you would be looking at a fine amounting to thousands of pounds.
Additionally, there is a strong link between usability and accessibility. When you endeavor to make your website more accessible, you are also doing a great deal to make it more usable as well.
Dubber also asserts that accessible does not mean “vanilla” (see point 5). You can still create a site that looks great, while maintaining a well thought-out layout. According to Dubber, if your website is accessible and easy to use, it doesn’t mean that your audience is going to spend more money. However, if it’s not, they simply won’t.
The 20 Things You Must Know About Music Online was written by Andrew Dubber, and all credit goes to him. I do not claim any ownership over the book, nor am I quoting any information verbatim. If you would like to download your free copy, please follow this link, and don’t forget to visit New Music Strategies as well.
Author: David Andrew Wiebe
David Andrew Wiebe has built an extensive career in songwriting, live performance, recording, session playing, production work, investing, and music instruction. In addition to helping musicians unlock their full potential, he also continues to maintain a touring schedule with multiple bands.