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Tips & best practices for ADA website compliance

The Banno team strives to meet the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance standards during the entire life of your implementation project – beginning in design, through the development process, and during content placement – in order to create an easily accessible experience for all users. There are many things we can do to help keep you on a path within those ADA guidelines, but having the flexibility to manage your website through Banno Content, much of the work will be in your hands. Below, you can find tips and best practices to keep in mind when making updates to your site content. This will help ensure you stay within the standards of ADA compliance.

Page setup

  • When creating pages within Banno Content, no two pages should have the same page title to ensure users with screen readers can recognize the difference.
    • For example, if you have a Checking page set up within your Personal and Business menus, the page title for each page cannot be Checking. Alter one or both page titles to ensure there is no duplication (e.g. Personal Checking and Business Checking).
  • All SEO titles set for individual pages must be unique. Do not duplicate these across different pages of the site.

Heading styles

  • There should be only one Heading Style 1 (H1) element per page. When a page is created, the title of that page automatically uses the H1 element. When formatting your page content, all other headings should use H2-H6.
  • When using heading styles within page content, make sure to use them hierarchically and in descending order (e.g. H2, H3, H4, etc.). You can reuse groupings of headings H2–H6 within page content as long as they are always in descending order. This format is similar to how you write an outline.
  • When using descending headings, do not skip heading style levels. It is okay to skip up style levels when closing subsections.
    • An H2 beginning a new section can follow an H4, because it closes the previous section. However, you cannot have an H5 directly follow an H2, as that skips a level.
Do - Example Don’t - Example
Heading 1 (Page Title) Heading 1 (Page Title)
Heading 2
example paragraph text
Heading 2
example paragraph text
Heading 3
example paragraph text
Heading 5
example paragraph text
Heading 4
example paragraph text
Heading 3
example paragraph text
Heading 2
example paragraph text
  • The text of each heading must be unique from all other headings within a single page.
    • For example, if you name a page Security Tips (which automatically places that text in an H1 element), you should not also have another heading on that page using any heading style that reads Security Tips alone. If the subheading says Security Tips and Tricks, this is acceptably different.
  • Ads within your website should always include H2 (heading 2 style) as the first heading.
  • For headings within tables, use table heading cells (<th>), not standard heading tags (<h1>, <h2>, etc.). These styles are set automatically for you when your website is built and applied as you enter content into a table created through Banno Content.

Typography

  • It’s best not to copy and paste content into the editor unless you are pasting plaintext from a simple text editor, such as Notepad or TextEdit. Coping text directly from Microsoft Word or another webpage can copy in offending styles from these other locations, causing many problems inside the code that you may not immediately see. If you do need to copy text into the editor, you will have the option to right click and select Paste as plain text to avoid potential issues with site formatting from external styles being copied into the site.
  • Use only the styles available to you within the toolbar of the Banno Content editor, as the site is built with font styles and colors that are ADA compliant. Many colors and styles do not pass ADA requirements. Using inline styles within the CMS source code editor to alter the colors and styles set for your site may cause you to fall out of compliance with ADA standards.
  • For emphasis, bold and italicize your content using the CMS editor toolbar available in the CMS, as these styles are in compliance with ADA guidelines. Using bold, italics, or strikethrough HTML code through the CMS source code editor is not recommended, as these tags have been deprecated.
    • For example, Guidelines indicate to apply italics with emphasis (<em>) and boldness with strong emphasis (<strong>), which are set by default within the CMS. If you are editing through the source code editor and apply your own bold (<b>), italics (<i>), or strikethrough (<s>) formatting, this will fall outside of ADA compliance.
  • Throughout your website content, only linked content should be underlined. Underlines will be added automatically to links by your site’s built-in styles. Do not use the CMS source code editor to underline content.
  • Bold, italicize, underline (hyperlinks) sparingly. Long strings of text within these tags will be flagged.
  • Use descriptive wording for calls to action that include the purpose or link destination, so the end user can understand what action would be taken by clicking the link.
    • For example, instead of Learn More, try phrasing as Learn more about savings accounts. Other calls-to-action that should be more descriptive include: Click here, Find out more, Get started, Try it now.
  • Keep the linked text as short as possible while remaining descriptive. Links opening in the same window should include fewer than 80 characters; links opening in a new window should include fewer than 55 characters. Shorter links are easier for screen readers to scan. They are also easier for assistive technology to use.
  • Avoid placing two links that point to the same location back-to-back, as this causes screen readers to sound as though they are stuttering.
    • For example, when an image sits above text that will link to the same location, these often get linked at the same time. You should not have these set back-to-back, linking directly to the same place with the same description.

Imagery

  • When naming your files, avoid space characters. Instead, use underscore or hyphen to indicate spaces, if needed.
  • All assets must include a description that a screen reader will read for a visually impaired user. The Description field for the asset allows any text to be entered, but it is important to describe what you see in the image or a brief description of what the asset itself is. The description field should include fewer than 100 characters.
    • Example: “A smiling girl playing on a swingset during a sunny afternoon.”
  • When adding description text to an asset, do not duplicate the file name.
    • For example, if you want the description text (read aloud by screen readers) to say “checkmark,” the filename cannot be “checkmark.jpg”. Change the filename to something else, like “brand-checkmark.jpg.”
  • The description text for an asset should not include a color.
  • Images that contain text, are alone inside a hyperlink with no additional text, or indicate a visual marker to be read aloud (e.g., checkmarks in a table), need a description outlining the image/text/link details for screen readers.
    • Note: Photos with text placed on the image should not be used. Text on images is not ideal for responsive design, cannot be guaranteed to show on all viewports, will be undetected during any type of ADA scan, and will not be picked up by SEO.

Tables

  • Heading styles (H1-H6) should not be used inside of tables. During the design and development of your website, title headings are created for the tables on your site. They are automatically included in the table styling or can be defined in the source code as <th>.
  • Hex values should not be used within the CMS source code editor to color the cells of your tables. Many colors and styles do not pass ADA requirements, and altering the colors and styles set for your site may cause you to fall out of compliance with ADA standards.

Embedded content

  • Ensure that any iframe content you embed within your site is ADA compliant by adding a title attribute for screen readers. Use these instructions to add title= attribute to the source code for embedded iframe content.
  • After having added an iframe to a page, select in the editor toolbar.
  • Select < > Source code in the dropdown menu.
  • In the HTML view, add a “[titlename]” value after title= in the iframe section of the code.
    • Example: <iframe title="BillPay video"src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/XXXXXX" width="500" height="300" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe>

Want to learn more about ADA and WCAG Compliance?

Gain an overview of the current Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.