Friday, August 13, 2010

Design with Accessibility in mind

I would encourage webmasters to design pages for users, not just search engines. When you're designing your AJAX site, think about the needs of your users, including those who may not be using a JavaScript-capable browser (for example, people who use screen readers or mobile devices). One of the easiest ways to test your site's accessibility is to preview it in your browser with JavaScript turned off, or to view it in a text-only browser such as the Lynx browser. Viewing a site as text-only can also help you identify other content which may be hard for Googlebot to see, such as text embedded in images or Flash.

Whilst in the mode of testing, consider reviewing the browser screen resolution. I feel that it is important to test a web site in as many ways as possible. View it in different screen resolutions, various computer platforms and different browsers. Find out how your web page looks like with the viewer's monitor set to different screen resolutions as you want to be sure your visitor can see everything or at least the important navigation links:

Browser Shots - My Favourite
http://browsershots.org/

Browser Screen Resolution Checker - Markhorrell
http://www.markhorrell.com/tools/browser.html

Screen Size Tester - AnyBrowser
http://www.anybrowser.com/ScreenSizeTest.html

Screen Resolution Checker - AndyLangTon
http://andylangton.co.uk/stuff/screen-resolution-checker