Accessible for All: How to Improve Accessibility of Your Websites, Apps and Other Digital Experiences
Optimize Customer Experience (CX) or fall behind your competitors. That is today’s ultimatum in the business world. To achieve optimal CX, you need to create accessibility for all customers, including ones with disabilities. Here are a few pointers to improve accessibility amid challenges.
A business and moral case
Here’s a list of potential customers with disabilities. Keep in mind that it doesn’t cover all cases.
- People with impaired vision
- Deaf customers
- Mobility-impaired users
- People with learning disabilities
- Visitors with limited hand access at a particular time like driving or having a limb in a cast
Web crawlers (like Google’s search spiders) are also your site visitors. They are blind, deaf and though they are getting smarter every day, their cognitive ability is limited.
If your digital experiences are accessible for all mentioned above, the benefits can go beyond ethical values, and include:
- A higher rank in search engines thanks to more traffic, lower bounce rates, less negative feedback
- Get found because search spiders can easily crawl and index your site
- Easy access for all thanks to designing for the extreme. It also means better analytics. That’s why Usabilla provides a website feedback tool for all types of customers.
In a world where customer’s voice is getting stronger, companies can also avoid lawsuits like this one by improving accessibility.
Start with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0. It provides a broad overview of all aspects of web content accessibility. Meeting all AAA requirements is challenging, but you should aim for all the As and AAs.
In addition to generic guideline principles, you could face tight deadlines, limited budgets, and competing priorities. Also, designers and developers might have to adopt a different mindset. Some projects even require QA testers with disabilities or accessibility test tools.
The key is to keep going with trials and errors while taking the time to investigate the problems specific to your digital channels and customers’ journey. Use a consultant if needed.
Starting Points for Accessibility
Here is the list of common accessibility improvements to start with:
Your website will work better with assistive technology if it includes:
- a logical and consistent navigation system
- proper markups for pages and stylesheets to be rendered by screen readers and braille displays
- voice over technology
- compatibility with keyboard access (no hovering-over content)
- alt text for all images and graphics
- captions for embedded videos
- link texts: understandable without their surrounding
It is helpful for color-blind and low vision people if your website has a clear contrast between the text and background (and all interactive elements and graphics).
It is essential for the elderly or visually impaired customers to be able to zoom in on your content without losing any pictures and texts.
Forms should be readable by screen readers. Also, they should all have “submit” buttons. In a drop-out menu, for example, a visitor using a mouse can easily pick an option and have the page reload automatically without the need of a submit button. It is not the case for keyboard-access users. If you don’t include the submit button in the wireframes, they have no choice but choosing the first one on the list.
With Usabilla’s Voice of Customer solution, all on-site forms and buttons are fully accessible. Enabling accessibility for people with disabilities will help to make it easier for all consumers, which comes down to usability and customer-centricity.