Use Sufficient Contrast

Importance Rating of 7/10

Having a sufficient contrast ratio ensures that text and other content are easily readable and distinguishable on a webpage. It is particularly important for users with visual impairments or those viewing the website on different devices or under varied lighting conditions.

Adequate contrast improves accessibility, allowing a wider range of users to access and engage with the content. It helps prevent eye strain, enhances legibility, and reduces the risk of users abandoning the site due to difficulty reading the text.

Search engines like Google value user experience and accessibility as important factors. While the impact on SEO rankings may not be as strong as other factors such as quality content or backlinks, it can indirectly influence metrics like bounce rate, average time on page, and user engagement, all of which can affect search engine rankings.

What can website owners do to improve Sufficient Contrast?

  • Ensure text and background colours meet minimum contrast ratios. For normal text, aim for at least 4.5:1 contrast ratio. For large text (over 18pt or 14pt bold), 3:1 is acceptable.
  • Avoid using light grey text on white backgrounds. These often do not have enough contrast. Darker greys on white backgrounds can work if tested.
  • Watch out for contrast issues with borders, images, overlays, and shadows. Any elements layered over text can reduce contrast. Test with these in place.
  • Check the contrast for focus states, like links. Link text needs to maintain contrast in all states (normal, hover, focus, etc).
  • Confirm sufficient contrast at different screen sizes. Contrast issues may only appear at certain text sizes or device resolutions.
  • Allow users to switch to a high-contrast view. Have an accessible high-contrast option for your site if possible.
  • Conduct accessibility testing with users with low vision. Their feedback can identify any contrast problems you may have overlooked.
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