Use the arrow keys to navigate between menu items.

Ditch the accessibility score

2 minutes read

If you think that scoring 100 in the Accessibility section in Lighthouse means people with disabilities can effectively use your website without a hitch, think again!

Yes, scoring 100 on Lighthouse is impressive. But it's not the whole story. That number doesn't represent the full scope of a user's experience. Lighthouse primarily focuses on automated checks that can be easily detected, such as proper use of ARIA attributes, color contrast, the presence of link text and alternative text on images.

Many crucial aspects of accessibility require an actual human to go in and use your website. Think of:

  • Logical tab order and keyboard navigation
  • Screen reader compatibility
  • Meaningful heading structure
  • Clear and simple language
  • Intuitive user interface design
  • Context-appropriate alternative text
  • Video and audio content accessibility
  • Dynamic content changes
  • Touch target size and spacing
  • Consistency in navigation and layout
  • Appropriate use of color to convey information
  • Error prevention and recovery

So is Lighthouse worthless?

No. It will still catch a lot of the low-hanging fruit. But its real value comes from its recommendations for what to manually test. Look for the section called "Additional Items to Manually Check." All those recommendations come with links to instructions on how to manually test and fix any issues.

Focus on those to make real improvements to your site's accessibility.

Did you enjoy this bite-sized message?

I send out short emails like this every day to help you gain a fresh perspective on accessibility and understand it without the jargon, so you can build more robust products that everyone can use, including people with disabilities.

You can unsubscribe in one click and I will never share your email address.