Website accessibility and website usability are two closely interrelated terms. Although you can use both these terms to convey a similar message, they are quite different. Let us figure out the major differences between website usability and website accessibility.

Website Usability

Website usability refers to the activity of using the website with ease. When we talk about the usability of the website, we consider its usage statistics for an average user. You can easily judge the website usability of the website by asking yourself the following questions.

  • How easily can I accomplish a task using the features on the website?
  • How intuitively is the website interface designed?
  • How quickly and efficiently can the website serve its features?

In conventional terms, the usability statistics of a website do not consider the needs of a differently abled user. Accessibility, on the other hand, is a completely different ball game.

Website Usability vs Website Accessibility - The Difference
Website Usability vs Website Accessibility – The Difference

Website Accessibility

Website accessibility refers to the activity of making the website accessible to a differently abled person. Accessibility for a website is high when it can cater to the needs of many differently abled people along with the average user. You can ask all the questions mentioned above from the point of view of a differently able person while ranking the accessibility of a website. Some extra questions that you can consider here include the following:

  • How large a population, of the differently abled people can this website serve?
  • How useful is the website designed for a differently abled person?
  • Does this website add value to the user experience for differently abled people?

You can consider website accessibility to be a super set for website usability since it caters to a larger population of audience comparatively.

Overlapping of terms

Website accessibility is often used to depict the website usability factor. However, it depicts much more than that. Accessibility is all about allowing all the people to use the website in a similar manner where ‘all’ includes average as well as differently abled people.

While you can make your website usable to the average person, it might be useless to a differently abled person. For example, when you are hosting a website for paint colors by displaying a wide range of colors on the screen, you cannot cater to the needs of color-blind people. Therefore, in this case, your website is highly usable but not highly accessible.

Cohabitation of Accessibility and Usability

It is not necessary to isolate the practices of website usability and accessibility. Instead, you can implement both the practices simultaneously in several cases. For example, when you use a video to depict a DIY process, you are increasing the usability statistics of your website. By the addition of suitable subtitles to the video, you can increase the accessibility of the website since it did not cater to the needs of the hearing-impaired audience in the first scenario.

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