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What is Useability and How Does It Relate to Web Accessibility?

Christopher Nguyen
Christopher Nguyen
Posted in Zoom Sep 7 · 7 Sep, 2022
What is Useability and How Does It Relate to Web Accessibility?

Useability is one of the most important aspects of web design. It is the measure of how easy a website is to use and how effectively it meets the needs of its users. In order to ensure that a website is usable, designers must consider several factors, including ease of navigation, legibility, and accessibility. While useability is often considered in relation to individual websites, it is also an essential consideration for the overall web landscape.

There are a number of factors that contribute to useability, but some of the most important include:

  • Ease of Navigation
  • Legibility
  • Accessibility

But how vital is useability for websites? How does it affect the overall experience of a visitor?  Why should we even bother?

Let’s talk about all these things in this article. We’ll discuss why useability is, the factors contributing to useability, and how it affects a site’s accessibility.

What is Useability?

Useability is a measure of how effective a website is in meeting the needs of its users. It is the measure of how easy a website is to use. In order to ensure that a website is usable, designers must consider a number of factors, including ease of navigation, legibility, and accessibility.

There are ways to gauge the useability of a site. Some questions you can ask include:

  • How easy is it to find what I need on the website?
  • Do I understand what the website is selling?
  • Did I accomplish the task I visited the website for?

If you answered yes to all three when visiting your website, it has high useability.

It’s not easy. Every visitor will have challenges when going to a website. The goal is not for your website to just be usable but functional to the few who will have issues with a regular website. We’ll talk about that.

Next, we’ll be talking about the contributing factors to useability.

What are the Contributing Factors to Useability?

There are a number of factors that contribute to useability, but some of the most important include:

Ease of Navigation

Your site’s useability is essential if you want visitors to stick around. If they can’t navigate, they’ll quickly become frustrated and leave. If you feel like the site is a giant maze, just throw your hands up and look at the competitor.

You can do a few key things to make sure your site is easy to use. First, make sure the navigation is straightforward and easy to understand. Visitors should be able to tell where they are and where they need to go with just a glance. Second, provide clear and concise labels for all of your links. Don’t try to be clever – visitors should be able to tell what they’ll find when they click on a link. Finally, don’t forget about mobile users. More and more people are using their phones to browse the web, so it’s essential to make sure your site is responsive and easy to use on small screens.


Once you’ve sorted the navigation, it’s time to focus on legibility. This is especially important if you want people to read the content on your site. Visitors will quickly become frustrated and leave if the text is too small, too light, or just plain difficult to read.

You can do a few things to make sure your text is legible. First, use a large enough font size. Second, choose a sans serif fonts like Arial or Helvetica – they’re much easier to read than serif fonts like Times New Roman. Finally, make sure the contrast between the text and the background is high enough. A good rule of thumb is to use a dark font on a light background or a light font on a dark background.


If you want your site to be usable, you need to test it on all devices and platforms. You can use online tools to test different browsers and operating systems. You should also test your site on mobile devices and tablets.

You can use responsive design to ensure your site looks good on all devices. You should also make sure your site loads quickly on all devices. The last thing you would want, as a site owner, is to have people leaving even before a page correctly loads.

Content and Messaging

If you want your website to succeed, you need to make sure the messaging is clear and compelling. The content must be well written and lead the visitor towards their goal. The communication should be active and guide the visitor step-by-step towards performing the desired action.

If you confuse your visitors, they will no longer be able to fulfill the task that they came to your site for. This will just lead to frustration and a high bounce rate. So make sure your messaging is clear, concise, and to the point.

Search Engine Optimization or SEO

The architecture of your website is vital for two main reasons: useability and SEO. If users can’t find what they’re looking for on your site, they’re likely to leave and never return. And if search engines can’t crawl and index your content, it won’t show up in search results, making it invisible to potential customers.

Luckily, there are a few simple steps you can take to improve the crawlability and searchability of your site. First, make sure all of your pages are linked together in a logical way. Second, use clear and descriptive titles and URLs. And finally, use relevant keywords throughout your site to help search engines understand what your pages are about. Of course, this is just a simplified way of discussing SEO as it is a vast discipline in itself. However, the steps mentioned above should give you a good idea of how it helps.

By following these tips, you can ensure that both users and search engines can easily find and use your site.

Site speed and errors

If you’re serious about improving the useability of your website, you need to make sure it’s free of errors. Nothing is more frustrating for users than trying to navigate a site full of broken links and other problems. These errors will make your site less usable, but they’ll also hurt your search engine rankings and damage your reputation.

To ensure that your site is free of errors, you should regularly test all the links and functionality. If you find any errors, fix them as soon as possible. You should also run regular spell checks and grammar checks to catch any typos or other mistakes.

In addition to being free of errors, your website must also be fast. Users are impatient and won’t hesitate to leave if your site takes too long to load. To ensure that your site loads quickly, you should compress all of your files and use a content delivery network. You should also avoid using large images or videos on your site.

What is Accessibility?

What is accessibility? Simply put, accessibility is the ability of people with disabilities to use and enjoy products, services, and facilities independently. This can include everything from physical buildings and walkways to digital content and devices. When it comes to digital content, such as websites, accessibility means that people with disabilities can perceive, understand, navigate, and interact with the content on an equal footing with non-disabled users.

Several laws in the United States mandate accessibility in specific contexts. For example, Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act requires that all government websites be accessible to disabled users. And Section 504 of the Americans with Disabilities Act expands these accessibility requirements to any entity receiving federal funding. By ensuring that digital content is accessible to everyone, we can create a more inclusive society that allows everyone to participate fully in life.

There are some ways to make digital content more accessible, and it should all get tied down nicely with useability. However, as a good rule of thumb, your site should be able to provide content through multiple sensory channels. One good example is when you have videos on your website. To make it more accessible for people who have trouble hearing, you should enable in-sync captioning.

A website’s goal is to be as usable and accessible as possible. This ensures that everybody who visits the site will leave happy and have something of value taken from the website.

How about you? What are the most common useability and accessibility issues of most websites?