Having a multilingual website means your website is available in more than one language. This is another aspect of Web Accessibility we love talking about here. There are two considerations: do you want your website back end to be in a language other than English? Or do you want to have your website served to your viewer in their preferred language?
Designing for website accessibility for users with little to no vision, and using Screen Readers. As a user who doesn’t experience any real vision or textile considerations, I find discussions about accessibility within the internet space fascinating.A few months ago I attended a webinar presented by a near-blind web developer. She offered a chance to experience what surfing the internet is like for someone who uses a screen reader. It was an absolutely mind blowing experience.
No matter what platform you’re using (WordPress, Shopify, Wix, or something else) there’s really no excuse for not making your website accessible. There are, in fact, all kinds of reasons to start thinking about web accessibility (or #a11y, if you’re into numeryms). The key takeaway is that making your website accessible makes it available to MORE VISITORS, not just for anyone with physical disabilities.
The word “Internationalization” is often abbreviated to “i18n”, which is a numerym. “i18n” is used because there are 18 letters between the ‘i’ and the ‘n’. Accessibility, by the way, uses the numerym “a11y”. It’s not new – there are web standards to help regulate it, and in fact a whole section devoted to it on W3C. But in terms of Accessibility, making your website available to all users is a pretty big deal. And that includes more than *just* language choices.
Accessibility should equal Usability for all. A design is only useful if it’s accessible to the user: any user, anywhere, any time. We often mistake the concept of accessibility as involving people with disabilities. But accessibility is simply a function of access. If UX is your user’s experience, then an accessible UX just means that more users can have a positive digital experience on your website. And that means a more positive experience with your company.