Use Both Visual and Non-Visual Methods to Emphasize Content

Emphasizing content for visual users is usually pretty easy. There are techniques such as increasing font size, using italic or bold font, changing the color of the font, or adding a background color behind the font. But what about emphasizing content for people who cannot see these visual indicators? Screen readers ignore many of the visual methods used for emphasizing content, and people who have low vision or colorblindness may be unable to see some text colors or text with background color.

We do not want to neglect visual users, so it is perfectly fine to emphasize content visually. In addition to visual methods, it is important that we also use non-visual methods to emphasize content. Here are a few ways to emphasize content for those who may be unable to see the content.

Non-Visual Methods for Emphasizing Content

  • Write the word "Important" (or similar) before the content. This is by far the easiest solution, and it helps to emphasize the content for all users.
  • Important! Put the word "Important" in the alt text of an image. This essentially accomplishes the same result as the first suggestion, plus it gives you the opportunity to use some graphic design, if you like.
  • If you want to emphasize something only for screen reader users, you can hide the word "Important" from visual users by using CSS to place the text off of the left side of the screen (for example: <span style="position:absolute; left:-1000px;">Important!</span>).