SMLWRLD Engagement series: Accessible intranets – how is it done?
With SMLWRLD Essential and Advanced getting new “Dark” and “High Contrast” modes, here’s how to make an intranet fully accessible.

Web in the modern age has changed a lot since the early days. It is now commonplace for websites, app builders and any other screen-based technology to be created to strict accessibility standards. The same is true for intranets – as workplaces become more inclusive to all kinds of disability, so too must the tools being implemented.

What is accessibility?

Accessibility is the practice of making web material usable by as many people as possible. This is normally aimed at people with disabilities, but it can also apply to those using mobile devices, or those with slow network connectivity.

Typically, accessibility measures concern four key areas of disability:

  • Visual impairment
  • Audio impairment
  • Movement impairment
  • Cognitive impairment

There is a universal standard for web accessibility called the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). The current set of guidelines is known as WCAG 2.0, and web content can adhere to these guidelines to A, AA, or AAA level.

How is accessibility achieved?

There are some areas of accessibility that lend themselves more naturally to the web than others. An obvious example of this is visual accessibility – web content is predominantly a visual experience. There are aspects of the other impairments that also affect web content accessibility. Here are some examples of accessible best practices featured across all SMLWRLD intranets:

1. Font Sizes

All font sizes are connected to browser settings. This allows visually impaired users to change the font settings on their browser, and the intranet will follow suit.

2. Dark and High Contrast modes

Dark mode provides a viewing option that results in less eye strain even for well-sighted users. For visually impaired users, a high contrast mode gives maximum visibility, with a minimum of 80% contrast between foreground and background colours. Here are some examples from the SMLWRLD Advanced intranet.

3. Text alternatives – for screen readers

All images are provided with “alt-text”. This is a textual description of what the image shows, and is used by screen readers to announce to blind users what is on the screen.

4. Semantically correct HTML

The correct partitioning of HTML documents into sections, paragraphs, headings, etc allows screen readers and their users to more accurately interpret what is happening on the page.

5. Keyboard and Touch

For some users with mobility impairment use of a mouse might prove difficult, and so it is important that the intranet still functions via use of the keyboard. This means that hitting TAB or ENTER should enable logically navigating around the page, and interacting with any features.

Other mobility-impaired users might prefer to use touch interfaces. In which case the intranet should be fully operable via touch interactions with the screen. This is clearly an important consideration too for users of mobile and other touch devices.

Conclusion

There are many ways in which accessibility can be brought into a modern workplace – and our web-based tools are certainly part of that effort. SMLWRLD intranets are fully WCAG 2.0-compliant, and we strive to keep on improving our offering to users with any kind of impairment.


 

SMLWRLD intranets

SMLWRLD’s new SaaS intranets start at £180/annum for SMEs. Pricing for enterprises with over 100 users will vary. A 30% reduction on all pricing plans is available for public sector and not for profit organisations. A full breakdown of pricing can be found on the SMLWRLD pricing page.

 

About SMLWRLD

SMLWRLD is a London-based SaaS intranet provider, with team members working around the globe. In addition to delivering seamless internal communications, knowledge management, collaboration and transactional tools, SMLWRLD intranets are a vital tool for businesses in their quest for sustainability, staff wellbeing and greater Corporate Social Responsibility. To find out more, contact SMLWRLD Managing Director Dan Jones at contact@smlwrld.io or on +44 (0)207 502 3591.


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Published On

09/10/2020

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