A new website for Fondazione LIA. Usability and accessibility
This year Fondazione LIA aims at a fresher image with the development of a new institutional website, challenging the common place according to which accessibility means simple and unfriendly graphic design.
Inclusion is at the base of this project which puts users at the center in each phase of the design process. The way contents are organised makes it is accessible to all: thanks to the highlighted contents and to the new menu, which follows the foundation’s main activities, users can reach all the needed information more easily.
It is possible to visit the website with all the devices, both in desktop and mobile mode, thanks to the responsive graphic. All users can browse it: those with a visual impairment, for example, can use the assistive technologies (speech synthesis or Braille display) and personalize the settings according to their own preferences.
Its technical realization was possible thanks to the collaboration of Zampediverse agency and it was made accessible by Fondazione LIA’s technical experts: «we have designed the website thinking about accessibility from the very first graphic drafts, and monitoring it through all the phases: HTML implementation, CMS template, contents insertion», said Gregorio Pellegrino, LIA’s Chief Accessibility Officer.
The website follows the international guidelines concerning web accessibility, defined by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C): the WCAG 2.1 level AA. The supervision involved two levels: the technical level, both automatic (with website audit tools) and manual (with code control), and then at User Experience level. For the latter in particular «the support of our visually impaired testers was essential to understand how to improve the browsing experience», pointed out Pellegrino.
These are only some of the aspects verified: the possibility for users to browse the platform without using the mouse, the semantic identification of the website’s different sections, a correct colour contrast for visually impaired people and the presence of alternative descriptions for all images and visual contents.
The user at the center
The new website is part of a wider communication strategy that aims at increasing clarity and transparency. The homepage gives now more space to the news concerning LIA’s activities and the international world of accessibility.
«We want everybody to find out what we do more easily, I’m referring for instance to the training courses on digital reading that we hold within funded projects and dedicated to visually impaired people, students and those who are at risk of digital divide», said Denise Nobili, LIA’s Communication Manager.
Anyone who visits LIA’s website will now find specific pages with dedicated information. «We have a very diverse and wide audience: readers, publishers, private companies, libraries, communication managers and many others. It was very important then to think about different kind of contents that can give answers to everyone. Whether you are a teacher or the Diversity Manager of a company, we can (and we want to) do something for you».
Fondazione LIA’s upcoming newsletter goes in the same direction (it is possible to sign in using the form available here) and will be launched soon. The goal is to keep our audience up to date with seminars, training courses, events and news about accessibility.