We need to create content that is:
We also need to create content that is:
We apply these concepts through the way we write. Our rules on words, phrases and structure help us to do this.
Accessible content considers disabled people.
Avoid causing problems for people with:
- sensory impairments – for example, limited vision
- motor impairments – for example, people who use voice to navigate
- cognitive impairments – for example, dyslexia
Examples of accessibility include:
- use of headings – a proper heading structure makes a page easier to navigate for users of assistive technology
- plain English – simple language is easier to understand for users with learning disabilities
- avoiding italics – standard text is easier to read for users with dyslexia
Our website must be accessible. This is by law: The Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.
The law says all public sector websites must conform to:
"Level A and AA Success Criteria as set out in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines recommended by the World Wide Web Consortium"
Usable content works well.
This means the content is:
- effective – it meets user needs
- efficient – it is simple and quick to use
- satisfying – it solves problems and does not frustrate
Accessibility is about making things usable for disabled people. Usability is for everyone.
Consistency is important. By being consistent, we help users understand and predict how to use our website.
Inclusive content considers everyone.
Avoid excluding people.
Consider diversity, including:
Be aware of your own bias.
For example, content designers:
- have office jobs
- know a lot of words
- are comfortable using websites
Avoid excluding people who, for example:
- have different types of jobs
- do not enjoy reading
- are not comfortable using websites
Findable content gives users what they want.
To make content findable:
- address user needs
- use the same words and phrases as the user
- structure content properly – for example, using clear headings
- link to and from content to guide user journeys
Do not avoid what users are searching for.
Search engine optimisation
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is about making content findable.
There are different parts of SEO:
- words – how text explains the content
- structure – how a site is organised, including internal links
- code – how HTML explains the content
- speed – how fast the content loads
- external links – how other sites point to our content
- publicity – how people are encouraged to search different terms
We optimise content by:
- following our rules on words, phrases and structure
- creating usable and accessible content
Discoverable content gives users what they do not know they want.
Users do not always look for the right thing.
This can be because of:
- using the wrong terms
- lack of awareness
- bias or existing opinion
Most users come to Acas with problems. We need to guide them towards good practice.
Example of using the wrong terms
Lex has 1 year's service and has been fired. Their employer breached their contract by not giving them notice pay. Lex thinks this is 'unfair dismissal'.
'Unfair dismissal' has a specific meaning in law. It is unlikely to apply to them.
What they might need is information on 'wrongful dismissal'.
We can help them discover 'wrongful dismissal' by including it in content about 'unfair dismissal'.
Example of lack of awareness
Riley wants to make 25 staff redundant.
They do not know:
- other options, like reduced hours
- the benefits of speaking to staff
- that the law says they must hold a 'collective consultation'
We can help them discover consultation by including it in content about redundancy.
Example of bias or existing opinion
Fran thinks they should only make reasonable adjustments for specific disabilities. They want to know if long covid is one.
They do not know they're wrong about reasonable adjustments. They do not know about the risks of discrimination.
We can help them discover these things by including them in content about long covid.