Website accessibility lawsuits are climbing, reflecting increased demand for people of all abilities to experience and use web content equally.
While web accessibility and the ramifications for noncompliance can seem daunting, don’t let that apprehension scare you into inaction. The increase in lawsuits is just as much cautionary note as it is a signal for opportunity.
Unlocking purchasing power and website utility for more consumers – right when they want and need it – not only mitigates risk, it also opens the door to millions of users and buyers. And those millions need a way to use your site for their shopping, lifestyle, finance needs and more.
Not sure where to start to get your website ready for these users? Start with why and how accessibility works.
- Drive Web Content Perception and Comprehension
The first level of website accessibility comes from each user’s ability to perceive web content. Users may have trouble perceiving or understanding anything from images to text to navigation on a page.
How does this unfold as we use a website?
Imagine trying to buy a stylish new blazer online. You’ll need to sort through and understand a variety of characteristics about it before making a purchasing decision. Style. Color. Size. You’ll also need to process shirt descriptions like fabric type and pricing.
If any of the above factors are incomprehensible, users aren’t likely to attempt a purchase. So, how can businesses make sure their website is accessible every step of the way?
While familiarity with ADA regulations is important, following the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, or WCAG 2.0, can be a more manageable place to start. Website accessibility checkers built using WCAG 2.0 can assess:
- Text alternatives for graphics.
- Captions or alternatives for videos and other multimedia.
- Alternate ways to present content to convey similar meaning to a broader range of users.
- Controls for color contrast, text size, volume and other factors that tailor the experience and accessibility for the user.
If your website misses any of these marks, it could be losing customers and users before they get a chance to experience your full site and make a purchase. Identifying and addressing issues with a website accessibility checker will help solidify the first steps need to make the website understandable and navigable.
2. Promote Consumer Use from Start to Finish
Once users understand your website’s content and message, they’ll need to be able to make a purchase.
While online purchasing is often depicted as a one-step process, users normally need to navigate several barriers before they can buy.
Can users select specifications like size and color, add items to cart and navigate to checkout without a mouse? Can they input their shipping and payment information without relying on sight? Can they scroll through the page with a keyboard? Challenges in this crucial stage come in all shapes and sizes, and it is entirely possible to address them.
Fall back on automated web checker tools to navigate this part of the optimization process, and supplement with a manual compliance test to ensure top-quality results. A manual look-through will not only check that the correct functionality exists, but that it is clear, predictable and makes sense to the user.
3. Build a Strong, Inclusive Brand and Value
Brands that align themselves with a cause that extends beyond profit receive more consumer engagement than those with generic or unclear values.
65 percent of people around the world make belief-driven purchases, and the trend continues to gain momentum. So, with some help and a few changes, the “how” for your website’s transformation will also energize your brand’s “why.”
Taking an active stance through accessibility analysis and enablement sends a message of inclusivity and differentiates your brand from unwilling or unwitting competitors.
Boost ADA and WGAC 2.0 Compliance
Not sure if your website’s compliant with ADA? User1st takes the first step towards compliance for you by analyzing your website to identify accessibility issues. Find out how accessible your website is today.