The accessibility problems of today are the mainstream breakthroughs of tomorrow.
Eve Andersson, Director, Accessibility Engineering, Google
Why Is Website Accessibility Important?
Website accessibility is defined as the ability of disabled people to access the website, understand the content, communicate with the website, and complete the transaction independently without any issues. A recent study by Nucleus Research exposed the digital negligence shown towards the disabled user groups and also losing the market potential of $175 billion spending capability as per The US Department of Labor. The study has been conducted with 73 US adults who have some sort of vision impairment. They revealed that two-third of their transactions are incomplete because of the accessibility barriers. Ninety percent of the surveyed people call the customer service team very often to complete their transactions. This eventually leads them to go to competitor websites that are more accessible and user-friendly.
What Are The Consequences Of Inaccessible Websites?
The study by Nucleus research group who explored hundreds of websites in news, entertainment, and eCommerce found critical accessibility issues. Around 70% of the websites are inaccessible to people with vision impairment. The study found that
- Eight out of ten news sites had significant accessibility issues.
- Seven out of ten visually challenged people have reported that they were not able to access information and services in government websites and Medicare sites.
- Fewer than one-third of the websites have clear accessible contact information for blind people to seek help whenever they face an issue. This made them face difficulty in reporting and solving their problems.
Due to pandemic, more and more users are heading to digital stores where they expect the same in-store experience. This includes people with disabilities as well. But when based on the above study, it shows that they are completely left from the picture.Apart from the attractive UI, an eCommerce website should accommodate the needs of the disabled users in accessing the website.
- If a user is not able to navigate from one page to another and complete the transaction, they will simply walk out and approach the competitor who has accessible websites.
- Consider a blind user who comes to a website that sells cycles and accessories. The user tries to find a water bottle cage to be given as a gift. His questions on information about the product will include, ‘What is the color of the cage? What is the size of the bottle it can hold?’ and many more. A generalized description of the product doesn’t help blind users, rather the information should really speak about the look and feel of the product perceived as the same as normal users which can be read by the screen readers.
Finally… ROI In Website Accessibility
According to the CDC, One in 4 U.S. adults – 61 million Americans – have a disability. When we talk to the clients about website accessibility, the first question that pops up would be “Is it Mandatory to have accessible websites?”. From the business standpoint, the ROI obtained from accessible websites is worth the dollars spent in making them accessible. Below are some of the benefits of accessible websites:
Reduce Legal Threats
The rules are becoming more strict now and the end-users are filing lawsuits against the websites that do not comply with the WCAG accessibility guidelines. We have three different levels of compliance in WCAG guidelines A, AA, and AAA. The most followed and implemented level is AA to make your website accessible and reduce your legal threats. The below graph shows the lawsuits trend in the year 2019-2020The fact is, making your website accessible simply reduces your legal threats.
Expand User Demography
By not making your website accessible and lacking easy navigation, an all-inclusive solution does not come to place, ultimately refraining flawless access for the users with different forms of disabilities like vision impairment, hearing difficulties, and lack of motor skills. Just by making small changes in your designs and content of your website, you can reach 26 million adults who are disabled in the US and 15 % of the global population as per the WHO report. According to the Rural Health Information Hub, The U.S. population is aging. Today, there are more than 46 million older adults aged 65 and older living in the U.S.; by 2050, that number is expected to grow to almost 90 million. The number of older adults is expected to rise by 18 million between 2020 and 2030. This means by 2030,1 in 5 Americans is projected to be 65 years old and above. The aged population will have reduced vision, difficulties in hearing, and will completely rely on accessible websites. As we grow older, our physical, cognitive abilities will decrease considerably. We depend on others to fulfill our needs more than before and we look for accessible technology to satisfy our needs by adopting them.
Accessibility Is A Market Differentiator
When you have invested in website accessibility, it not only expands your user demography but also you will stand out from your competitors who are not having accessible websites. By creating a barrier-free accessible environment, you can embrace the differently-abled people’s needs and win over your competitors, making this a differentiating factor.
Extend Social Responsibility
Investing in inclusive design is directly proportional to showing your social responsibility and empathy towards differently-abled user groups. This will expand your brand reach by word of mouth in the disabled community about how much you care for society.
Elevate Your SEO
Good user experience design will attract the users and that should be your ultimate goal. Legible and understandable content, easy page navigation, proper alternative text for images, proper title tags, well-structured headers, transcriptions for audio files, and captions for videos will increase your SEO rankings. Website accessibility and SEO are mutually beneficial. When you adopt the web accessibility practices, the ranking in the search result pages (SERPs) will increase simultaneously.
Adopting an inclusive design in your website will help disabled people and the baby boomers population, enhancing their user experience by shopping independently. Ensure an equal footing for all your website visitors by aligning your online storefront with the required ADA Compliance. Talk to our team of ADA experts at DCKAP and deliver a flawless user experience for all. From aiding you in keeping up with the web content accessibility guidelines to coming up with the perfect solution, our team of experts will provide you with an accessible website.