How to ensure digital forms are ADA-compliant?
To create accessible digital forms, the focus should be on the design to ensure accessibility for all users.
- Focus on the User Interface (UI).
User Interface (UI) accessibility means making your forms easy to use with a clean layout, clear instructions, and a logical structure. One way to do this is to use strong color contrast. Strong color contrast helps draw attention to the most important elements of your form, such as the Call to Action (CTA) and menu items. You can also highlight important information using icons, larger text, and different colors. Another essential feature is a responsive and adaptable design, allowing users to resize the screen and highlight interactive elements.
- Ensure compatibility with screen readers.
A lot of users with vision disabilities use screen readers that translate text into speech. Therefore, all the text in your form, including the fields and descriptions, should be compatible with most assistive technology.
- Allow for keyboard accessibility.
For your forms to be accessible, it’s important that a user can navigate and fill them with or without a mouse or trackpad. This means that the user should be able to use only their keyboard to carry out all the functions on the form.
All the fields in your form should have clearly associated labels. These labels should be placed either on the left of the field or above it without having too much space in between. Fields that are mandatory should have a symbol like an asterisk.
- Include placeholder text.
For the fields that the user has to input information in, having a placeholder text helps guide users on the type of information they need to enter and the format in which they need to do so. This placeholder text must be in lower color contrast, disappearing as the user fills in their details. Make sure that the placeholder text does not replace field labels.
- Make error messages descriptive.
Error messages that merely signal an error are not helpful. Instead, your error messages need to be descriptive and tell the user why there is an error and how they can fix it. The error messages should not be ambiguous, condescending, or jargon-heavy. For instance, instead of the error message ‘Please complete required field’, it should read ‘Please complete address line 2’.
- Comply without complications
Given all of the considerations above, it’s understandable if you want to create forms that are accessible to all but don’t have the time or the technical knowledge to figure it all out on your own. After all, while any web developer should be able to create a compliant form from scratch, those not versed in web coding would quickly find themselves spending too much time just trying to do the basics. Fortunately, you can simply use an electronic forms solution that provides all the functionality to create forms that comply with the ADA guidelines.
dbs LiveForms is an easy-to-use no-code electronic forms and workflow automation solution that allows you to create and process any type of electronic forms and of course, ensure they are ADA compliant. With dbs LiveForms you can create forms that are accessible to all using a drag-and-drop interface. These are automatically responsive, can be used on any smart device, can include electronic signatures, and easily integrate your other systems without code or fuss. With tools like dbs LiveForms, creating, deploying, and managing forms are a breeze. Best of all, you can get started using dbs LiveForms completely for FREE. Simply send me a message or request your access here.