Accessibility for a content-driven web app frontend

Accessible web application design is a key component to providing a positive user experience and overall application user satisfaction. An accessible web application ensures equal access to people with diverse abilities and for people across various geographic locations. People with limitations relating to their auditory, cognitive, speech, or visual abilities and temporary limitations relating to short-term disabilities, slow internet connection, or even bright sunlight should be able to access your web application. When building the frontend of your web application, utilize accessibility solutions right from the start to prevent accessibility issues and the need to redo any work later during the build process. Make sure that your application content can be traversed by web crawlers and screen readers while also providing a positive user experience for users.

Accessibility is a legal obligation in many countries and industries; you must understand these guidelines and incorporate accessibility solutions into your frontend design. Various business cases highlight the importance of accessibility for web content as well.

Resources such MDN and WCAG provide essential guidelines and suggestions for increasing accessibility of your web application. You can also take the Learn Accessibility course on

The interdependence among various components is an essential aspect of making a web application accessible to diverse users.

Color and contrast

Color use is a primary factor in assessing the accessibility of a web application. Frontend users must be able to perceive the content on the page, and color and contrast considerably impact users' perception of content. Viewing conditions and sight-related disabilities can be temporary, situational, or permanent, but must be considered when building the frontend of your web application. Creating the correct contrast or difference in brightness between colors used on the user-facing interface can make your web application more accessible to diverse users. The contrast ratio provides the difference in brightness between the background and text.

To measure contrast you can use the contrast ratio formula to make sure a minimum contrast exists for the text or icons on the background. There are many forms of color-perception disabilities to consider, but new color models can ensure content is perceived correctly even if viewed in grayscale.

Utilizing a dark theme is often recommended to support color and contrast for accessibility. Dark themes are often preferred for visual input due to white light and reading difficulties. Since content driven applications include a large amount of text and images, it is crucial for you to use color and the contrast ratio wisely to meet the diverse needs of your users.

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Typography refers to text choice and arrangement so that it is readable and legible to diverse users. One of the most changed accessibility settings is the default font size on devices. Some users may want to fit more text on the screen with a smaller font size or make the text as big as possible Therefore, making the typography size flexible and legible is very important. Individual text characters should also be distinguishable to the reader, and the overall text should be legible to read. During the frontend design of your application, be sure to select typefaces that include both legibility and readability.


The typeface, or font family, that you choose for your web application should be visually accessible to a wide range of readers. The typeface is the visual design of the letters used in the text of your application. Many studies describe the importance of typeface when assessing the accessibility of web content. Finding the balance between the brand, your user interface design goals and the ease of reading makes your application more enjoyable for a wider range of users. When building your frontend, consider how the typeface options as well as the font options within them, contribute to the accessibility and overall design of your application.

Font size

Consider allowing for browser zoom to help users that have low vision or color perception disabilities blindness. The font of the text on your web application must be visible to diverse readers. Font size variations can be achieved by switching from px to rem. Rem units allow for a font size that is relative to the wep application's root element. This is a versatile option that would increase your web application's overall accessibility.

Structure and layout

Various structural and layout properties affect the accessibility of your interface. Layout features to consider include text block spacing and alignment as well as the space between text lines and even individual letters. Utilize grids and visualize the components you would like to include in your design. The layout and structure of the content should be engaging and enjoyable for users to consume. Complex layouts or busy backgrounds with multiple text blocks might be difficult for some users, such as those with ADHDto use. Be sure to prioritize inclusivity during your frontend design process.


Accessible Rich Internet Applications (ARIA) includes a set of guidelines and attributes to help make web applications more accessible for users. ARIA supplements HTML and enables accessible JavaScript widgets, live content updates, and error messages, among others. Correct use of ARIA is essential to truly make your web application more accessible. Incorrect use of ARIA can lead to errors and actually make your application less accessible to users.

Use ARIA labels when possible to introduce alternative formats compatible with braille and text-to-speech (TTS). ARIA roles and labels let you change the accessibility tree when it differs from the dom tree. These labels are also important when using non standard tags such as a div being used as a clickable button. ARIA is required when an HTML element does not have accessibility support. When designing your content-driven application, make sure that screen readers and other assistive devices are well supported to aid your application in reaching as many users as possible.

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Internationalization refers to designing a web application to be accessible to users from different linguistic and cultural backgrounds. Your web application should adaptable to different languages, geographic regions, and cultural preferences without substantial code changes. Key components of internationalization include multilingual support, localization, content separation, date and time formatting, text direction, and language negotiation, among others.

By internationalizing your web application, you can create an inclusive and user-friendly experience for a wide global audience. Internationalization is essential for any web application with a diverse user base or goal of international expansion.

Logical properties

When building out styles in CSS make sure to use start / end instead of properties like top / down/ left/ right. This ensures that menus and site layouts shift accordingly for RTL languages.

Alternate content

Include the lang attribute on the HTML tag with links to alternative documents in the header to provide custom markup for your content. This lets the browser select the correct page if the defined language differs from the default browser language. It can help web browsers and search engines understand the language of the page, which is important for rendering the content correctly and for effective SEO.


The Intl object in JavaScript is an important tool for creating multilingual and culturally aware web applications. It provides internationalization and localization capabilities in web applications, and ensures that your interface and content are understandable and culturally appropriate for users around the globe. Features provided by the Intl object include date and time formatting, number formatting, and string collation.

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HTML forms are a critical part of content driven web applications. They enable user interaction and provide a structured method to gather user information. If HTML forms are not accessible to a wide audience, they can lead to frustration and dissatisfaction for users.

To make HTML forms accessible, use semantic HTML elements for all form fields. This helps assistive technologies understand the purpose of each field and make it easier for users to complete them. Also, be sure to label all form fields clearly. This helps users provide accurate and useful information. It is also important to test the accessibility of your HTML forms; this can be done by using assistive technologies to simulate the experience of a user that requires such technologies to consume your application's content.

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