How Vital Is Compliance Adherence While Website Designing?

Web designers who have never heard of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines are rare since they are integral to web design. If a designer wants a website to work well with many different people who may use assistive technologies on a screen, it is vital to follow these guidelines. There are two main parts to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines or WCAG compliance: principles and rules.

This article will briefly look at both to see how they can apply to your own work as a web designer. It is crucial that you do more research into these sections if you want more information—you will find plenty available online (including this blog post by the WCAG 2.0 Task Force).

What Is Compliance Adherence?

To provide a framework for this article, we will be referencing the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0, which implements the standards of many jurisdictions. It is a vital standard that helps to ensure people with visual impairments can independently enjoy content on the web.


The first step in achieving compliance adherence is labeling your website. Labeling can involve using text that communicates what items are and how they function on your website through screen readers, touch screens, and other interfaces. A common example will be making sure your headings have an appropriate level associated with them so that logically users can follow them when navigating through links. In this way, you are helping those who use assistive technologies such as a screen reader or Braille display to understand what content is available on your website and how it functions.

Labeling ties closely to another concept known as “semantics.” Semantic elements help create a context for different contents for 

  • Describing what type of information you will find in them
  • How should the information get used?
  • Grouping together similar types of information for seamless navigation for all users 

Your goal can be to make all elements relevant to your content easy for users to identify and interact with correctly. It should not matter what kind of device or assistive technology they use to interact with your site or app.

Labeling also extends beyond text-based elements, including images, adequately describing their corresponding content area. Thus, ensuring interactive elements have proper labels associated, such as “submit” buttons on forms or radio button options within a multiple-choice selection field.

Label placement

As part of labeling your page appropriately, placement is vital when working towards achieving compliance adherence. It mainly applies when referencing interaction-based elements within a user interface via text label references rather than images (such as buttons). 

Why Is Compliance Adherence Important?

In order for a site to be useful, it has to work. It is obvious. But non-compliance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) can make any site inaccessible to a portion of its potential users.

The WCAG’s creation is part of the World Wide Web Consortium’s effort to create an international standard for making web content universally accessible. The goals of these guidelines are: “to make the Web accessible to people with disabilities, or those coming from different cultures, languages or countries [and] ensure Web pages are available in diverse formats such as Braille, audio, large print, and easy-to-read text” (W3C).

Not Just For Special Cases

That may sound like it is just for special cases, people with visual impairments or debilitating hand injuries. However, anyone can need accessibility features at some point. A recently injured arm will not mean much if you use your laptop on public transportation, and there is no room for it on your crowded seat. However, that same injury can make life better if your phone had voice commands enabled for its interface. 

Furthermore, many people who have never had a reason to use accessibility features before can find them useful someday. Maybe someone has not used certain functions because they do not need them yet, but that does not mean they never will.

The importance of keeping these guidelines in mind gets borne out by the numbers. They might seem like something aimed at a niche population or hobbyists only interested in extreme self-care. However, accessibility technology is actually widely used by many different types of people every day. 

In fact, 8% of Americans have a disability. However, only 2% use assistive technology products currently (Pew Research Center). Everybody knows somebody affected by a disability, maybe even themselves! Designing websites that abide by WCAG standards help not only meet regulation but aid such people too.

How Can You Achieve Compliance Adherence?

When you think of website design, compliance is likely not the first thing that comes to mind. But in a world where data privacy and security are paramount, it is critical to ensure web visitors’ information gets protected. Compliance adheres to this need by setting forth standards for the ways companies handle their clients’ personal data.

Compliance adherence, labeled as a basic necessity for any business looking to exist in this new era of heightened privacy awareness, is more crucial than ever. 

Companies that are yet to switch from traditional marketing tactics should consider how their customers can react if they become aware of these outdated practices. By taking advantage of so-called “privacy by design” tactics, companies can maintain their competitive edge without running afoul of users’ expectations.

Recognized as an important part of ensuring your website complies with regulations, content management systems (CMS) help you implement your site’s best practices on an ongoing basis. It ensures that you do not worry about your site’s design with privacy in mind whenever there is a change in leadership or management. 

Using these systems provides you with regular updates and notifications on policy changes that may affect you. This way, you always know the latest information on best practices and can update your site accordingly. 

Final Thoughts On Compliance Adherence 

Web designers have many duties, like ensuring that their sites are accessible to every user and include several materials to help users navigate the site. But it is important to remember that accessibility is not only about what happens when you visit a website. It also includes how websites get created.

Accessibility gets covered by various laws, and non-compliance can result in major lawsuits against your company. WCAG 2.1 compliance, for example, ensures that web content meets standards of accessibility for people with disabilities, including low vision or color blindness and cognitive impairments like learning disabilities or difficulty reading small text.

Compliance adherence is an important part of what web designers do every day. It is critical to understand how copyright law works within the United States (and around the world) as well as how other legal requirements impact sites’ design codes in order for them to function properly and remain safe places for users from all walks of life!

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