With digital technology advancing rapidly, businesses are now expected to have smart and user-friendly solutions implemented across all processes – from software and applications to the website. To keep up with the ever-changing expectations of the consumer, many businesses use software quality assurance testing services, which allow them to spot potential failures and optimise their processes. These tests typically include overall performance and usability, web and mobile testing, security checks, and accessibility testing.
However, website accessibility is the one thing that often seems to get ignored or forgotten when developing websites in businesses. This should never be the case and web accessibility should go hand in hand with the overall usability improvements. Here are some key reasons why your web accessibility is important.
Your web accessibility accounts for making your website user-friendly for everyone, regardless of their abilities, situations, and conditions. It is about providing an equal opportunity for everyone to be active participants in society, in every way possible – in this case, allowing anyone to engage with your web page. As a business, being inclusive and equal to all of your users should be a life-long mission, simply because it is the right thing to do. Therefore, it’s important to ensure that your website is usable and accessible for people with disabilities. Meaning that disabled users should be able to navigate, interact, perceive and understand the content of your website without any issues.
Besides just being the right thing to do, improving your website accessibility also makes a lot of sense for your business financially. Disability is much more common than most people realise and it’s often something that may not be visible. In fact, around 15% of the world’s population live with a disability of some form, which accounts for over 1 billion people worldwide. The different types of disabilities include physical, speech, visual, neurological, cognitive, and auditory.
People who live with disabilities are usually looking for websites that will cater to their needs and make their user experience as smooth and seamless as possible. Failing to implement accessibility features on your business website is essentially ignoring a massive chunk of potential customers, and therefore potential profits. On the other hand, improving your website accessibility could not only lead to new customers but also a better reputation and recommendations for your business in the disabled community.
In many countries, there are existing laws that require all organisations to design their website with web accessibility in mind. For instance, the Workforce Rehabilitation Act of 1973 in the US protects the rights of disabled people through accessibility requirements for all electronic and information technology. In Europe, different countries may have varying laws on the matter, however, the European Union has the European Charter of Fundamental Rights, which includes protections for web accessibility. These laws are there to ensure that no person is discriminated against, whether that’s based on their race, colour, religion, language, or disability. Therefore, failing to make your website accessible could potentially lead to legal action against your company and potentially a hefty fine.