Accessibility in Email: Making it real
It’s almost six years since I took the stage at The Email Design Conference, 2015, in London, and challenged the email marketing industry to implement ‘A Type of Accessibility’ into their email campaigns — at a time when accessibility in email was talked about, but not implemented.
It’s been exciting to see, how since that day, the industry has embraced accessibility, with organisations like Litmus and Email on Acid, and individuals like Mark Robbins and Elliot Ross, contributing to the conversation and making a difference.
A type of accessibility
What I covered in that first talk in 2015 is still relevant today. Along with other insights we’ve made as an industry, they remain the go-to implementations for accessibility in email. A logical code order. Live text, text alignment, text size (font-size) and text spacing (line-height). Colour use, colour contrast and ‘blue links’. Alternative text, alt attributes and semantic elements (using margin:0; to control spacing). Plain text versions and testing using tools like WebAIMs WAVE web accessibility evaluation tool. These were all aspects of WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) based accessible email design and development I encouraged the industry to use that day.
It’s one thing to talk about accessibility. It’s quite another to put it into practice.
It’s one thing to talk about accessibility. It’s quite another to put it into practice. Putting accessibility into practice is something I’ve had the privilege to do in my email career. I did in my capacity as Email Design and Development Manager at Skipton Building Society when I designed and developed their accessible marketing and operational emails (arguably the first emails from any building society to meet WCAG 2.1 AA). I did in my capacity as Email Specialist at Communisis for Nationwide Building Society when I consulted in the design and development of their marketing emails (arguably the first emails from any building society…