Accessible writing means making sure all users can read and understand what you written, including users with different mental and physical abilities.
It includes the language used, the structure of the text, and how the content is presented and organized. We recommend following these best practices to authors, contributors, and participants of the Interact platform.
Use informative, unique page titles
- Provide a short title that describes a page’s content, and which distinguishes it from other pages.
Keep content clear and concise
- Use language and formatting that is appropriate to the context (e.g., a summary report for senior executives may require different language than a HR policy page for all end-users).
- Write in short, clear sentences and paragraphs.
- Avoid using unnecessarily complex words and phrases. Explain acronyms on first use.
- Avoid acronyms, initialisms, or abbreviations where they are uncommon, unnecessary, ambiguous, or only used once.
- Where appropriate, use numbered or bulleted lists to display information as these are easier to scan and comprehend than blocks of text.
- Use bold text for emphasis or headings, rather than italics or underlining.
- Consider using images, illustrations, video, audio, and symbols to help clarify meaning.
Use headings to convey meaning and structure
- Use short headings to group related paragraphs and clearly describe the sections. Good headings provide an outline of the content.
- Put meaningful words first in headings. For example, use ‘Accessibility guidance’, not ‘Guidance on accessibility.’
- Use a logical hierarchy for headings. For example, if you have a section within the content which has a H2 heading, then the sub-headings underneath that should be H3, and any sub-headings under the H3 should be H4, etc.
Make anchor text meaningful
- Words are phrases featuring hyperlinks to other webpages or content are known as ‘anchor text’.
- Write anchor text so that it describes the content it links to.
- Avoid ambiguous terms such as ‘Click here’ or ‘Read more.’
- Indicate relevant information about the link target, such as document type and size.
Add meaningful text alternatives to images
- For every image, write simple alternative text that provides the information or function of the image. For purely decorative images, there is no need to write alternative text.
- For audio-only content, such as a podcast, provide a transcript.
- For audio and visual content, such as training videos, provide subtitles/closed captions. Transcripts and captions should also consider spoken information and sounds that are important for understanding the content.