Today’s business world is quickly evolving, and business owners who are flexible and adapt to change are those most likely to succeed. Part of that flexibility is being aware of sensibilities about differences among potential clients. While this is true for everyone, it is perhaps especially true for small business owners who want to be inclusive and diverse. It is absolutely essential to take steps to ensure your business is welcoming to as many people as possible. Your website serves as the face of your business, and it provides that incredibly important “first impression” to potential customers. Is your website easy to access? Is the content created with a wide, varied audience in mind? Do art and photos reflect the diversity of your community? of your target market? Here are some tips to make your website as inclusive and diverse as possible.
Focus on accessible design
In creating or revamping your website, focus on inclusivity. Is your website designed to be easily navigable by individuals across a wide array of devices and perhaps with some form of disability such as poor eyesight, or poor hearing? Keep in mind that consumers are more likely today to make a quick purchase on the go tand might not be using a laptop or desktop computer to do so.
From smart watches to smartphones, it’s important to design your website with easy scaling and navigation across devices. Keep your layout clear and ensure that it scales to different sizes without becoming a jumbled mess. If you are having trouble with your site on different platforms, talk to your web developer or your hosting company to see how they can help make your site more responsive. At AZ Media Maven, we partner with Websites by Toni for many of our online projects, and the owner, Toni, solves quickly any technical issues for client sites.
Choose content with diverse images and voices
As you create your website and begin adding photos and other art to accompany articles about your products and services, ensure you include diversity among your choices. If your site is selling clothing, for example, then choose models of different sexes, ages, body types, and ethnicities. When sharing content from other experts, share their diverse backgrounds as well as interests. Request guest columns and blog posts from a variety of experts with different backgrounds. The key is to make your website welcoming to all who visit.
Not everyone who accesses a website will be able to easily read the text. Some people will rely on various tools to browse, including those that read text, including alt-text, aloud. Make sure that your content is helpful even in non-traditional settings by using video captions, alt-text descriptions, transcripts, and audio descriptions of your media. Center content in a way that if a visitor needs to increase the font size on their computer, the text will still be easily legible.
Seek feedback from others
We all have personal biaes – even if we are completely unaware of them. When in doubt, call in experts. Ask friends with different backgrounds to review your site for any instances of insensitivity in wording or art. Ask where you can improve accessibility and diversity. Accept input and learn from mistakes. Collaborating with a diverse group will improve your social consciousness. The best way to promote diversity is by keeping your design team as diverse as possible.
Creating a website that is inclusive and diverse doesn’t have to be difficult. These tips will help as you create a welcoming experience to customers of all backgrounds.
AZ Media Maven is based in Laveen, AZ, a suburban village in the greater Phoenix area. Owner Rose Tring has more than 30 years of journalism experience as an editor and writer, many of those years in business news. AZ Media Maven was created in 2012 to serve other business owners in learning how to best use social media and to provide affordable public relation services. Reach AZ Media Maven by emailing email@example.com, or calling (602) 373-8371.