The process of designing a website might not seem like a tricky task for people who are already acquainted with the subject, but developing a website that's both accessible to robots and humans is a task that might leave a lot of us mind-boggled. There's a variety of aspects that have to be taken into account when designing a website, from its visual features to make it look appealing to its audience, to the ADA compliance required to provide fair access to information for people with disabilities.
We prepared a list of why you should make your website accessible to both robots and humans and how to achieve the goal you want your website to obtain.
This is a crucial step if you want to limit any robots’ interference with your website or overfilling the server space, restricting in itself the website's working efficiency and capability. There is a known technique to limit the number of robots that will be granted access to your website, securing it from thousands of unwanted spambots, which could compromise the reliability of your page by creating fake accounts or stimulating a questionable advertisement flow.
The system placed to minimize any robot interference with your system is known as CAPTCHA, which forces human authentication before accessing a website in a manner that a robotic device wouldn't be able to solve.
You are most likely to stumble upon CAPTCHA-secured websites on a daily basis, with most websites nowadays opting to implement some human verification techniques in order to limit any spam bots from accessing their websites. However, over the years, artificial intelligence became much more capable, and as of 2020, AI bots can solve as much as 99.8% of all the CAPTCHA codes. This provides a security threat for websites trying to protect themselves from unwanted spam, opting for new security features to be implemented to their technology.
CAPTCHA security features can provide a problem in itself. They can limit the ADA website compliance of 2020, which is required by websites to follow to give access to its content for users with disabilities. Even though the CAPTCHA security features of a website protect it from unwanted spam and questionable advertisements, their design also limits their compliance for robots.
ADA stands for the Americans with Disabilities Act, a requirement for website designs to create content accessible for people with disabilities. Those can range from visual and hearing impairments to cognitive disabilities, which sustain people with those disabilities from being fully able to interact with the website's content.
The Act promotes the design of systems equipped with the mechanisms for interacting with the website through supporting software that translates the text into sound, thus allowing people with visual impairments to interact with the website's content. However, for ADA compliant websites to operate most effectively and efficiently, there's a need for engines and robots to access the websites, to make the information available in different formats.
Websites that are accessible to both humans and robots also allow more significant traffic to the website. With robots being able to search for the best information to suit your search, you're able to save yourself a lot of time by going from site to site to find the help you were looking for.
However, for that to occur, websites need to be compliant with robots that may research their content in depth and suit it to the desired user. It's not very common that users will type in your url when they don't know if the information will be found on your website. Therefore online web systems that are robot friendly allow for a more significant reach of your website. To achieve that, you may need to limit the CAPTCHA features or re-design your web sites to grant easy access to search engine robots, which may bring more traffic to your content.
To gain the desired level of interaction that will allow a substantial amount of people to gain access to your website, you should design it in a format that’s compatible with both humans and robots. In doing so, you're not only generating traffic from human users but might also gain an advertising advantage from robots scanning your website and matching it where desired. It's also always important to make your website not only stand out from the crowd but also make it ADA compliant. It’s important in terms of allowing people with disabilities to access your website, as well as when it comes to compliance with the legal requirements.
If you want your website to achieve its purpose, and be both available to human users as well as robots, we highly recommend hiring a professional website designer that will design it according to your needs. This will also ensure that your website meets the ADA standards, but isn’t losing on the interactive aspect of itself.