Customer Experience: Why Web Accessibility Matters

8.9 min readPublished On: 21 April 2024By
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In today’s online world, the importance of web accessibility cannot be overstated. The efforts into access for your business website should be maximized. This concept refers to the inclusive practice of removing barriers that prevent interaction with, or access to websites, by people with disabilities. When sites are correctly designed, developed, and edited, all users have equal access to information and functionality.

Web accessibility matters and is not just a matter of legal compliance or ethical duty; it also significantly enhances customer experience, opening up websites to a broader audience that includes the elderly, those with disabilities, and others who might benefit from more accessible web design. As the internet becomes increasingly central to everyday life, ensuring that everyone can participate without hindrance is not only beneficial but essential.

Moreover, businesses are beginning to realise the substantial benefits of embracing web accessibility. It is not only about avoiding legal pitfalls but also about enhancing brand reputation, reaching a wider market, and improving overall customer satisfaction. This article will explore how improving web accessibility can positively impact customer experience, why it is crucial for business success, and how businesses can implement effective accessibility practices to benefit all users.

The Fundamentals of Web Accessibility

Understanding the fundamentals of this concept is important for any business aiming to provide an inclusive digital environment. The concept is rooted in the idea that everyone, regardless of disability, should have the ability to access and effectively use websites. This notion is guided by the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), which outline how to make web content more accessible to people with disabilities.

The WCAG principles are structured around four key concepts:

  1. Perceivable: Information and user interface components must be presentable to users in ways they can perceive. This means that users must be able to recognise and use the information, whether it comes through sight, hearing, or touch. For example, providing text alternatives for non-text content or making it easier for users to see and hear content.
  2. Operable: User interface components and navigation must be operable. This involves making sure that all users can interact with all controls and interactive elements using various input methods beyond the traditional keyboard, such as voice commands, screen readers, or specialised hardware.
  3. Understandable: Information and the operation of the user interface must be understandable. This means that users must be able to comprehend the information as well as the operation of the user interface. Websites should operate in predictable ways, and should provide assistance to help users avoid and correct mistakes.
  4. Robust: Content must be robust enough to be reliably interpreted by a wide variety of user agents, including assistive technologies. As technologies and user preferences evolve, the content should remain accessible.

By integrating these principles into their web design, businesses can ensure that their websites provide a barrier-free environment. Doing so not only adheres to ethical standards and legal requirements but also reaches a broader audience, enhancing the overall user experience. Implementing these accessibility principles is a forward-thinking approach that positions businesses as leaders in inclusivity, improving customer satisfaction and loyalty.

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Why Web Accessibility Matters to Businesses

Your website being accessible is increasingly recognised as a critical factor in successful business strategies .By embracing inclusive design, companies not only expand their market reach but also enhance their brand reputation and customer loyalty. This section explains why prioritising web accessibility is a beneficial move for any business.

Firstly, accessibility broadens your audience significantly. Approximately 15% of the world’s population experiences some form of disability. By making your website accessible, you open your doors to millions of potential customers who might otherwise be excluded. This demographic often faces limited options, and they tend to show loyalty to brands that cater to their accessibility needs. Therefore, businesses that invest in web accessibility are likely to see an increase in customer retention and satisfaction.

Secondly, there are economic benefits associated with accessible websites. Studies have shown that accessible sites can lead to an increase in page visits, longer visit durations, and more frequent interactions. These factors are not only key indicators of a healthy website but also contribute significantly to higher conversion rates. Furthermore, accessible sites tend to be more SEO-friendly, as features that improve accessibility—such as alternative text for images and proper heading structures—also assist in search engine optimisation.

Moreover, companies must consider the legal implications of web accessibility. Many countries, including the UK, have laws requiring digital accessibility, and non-compliance can lead to hefty fines and legal challenges. By ensuring your website meets accessibility standards, you protect your business from legal risks.

In summary, the importance of web accessibility transcends moral responsibility and legal necessity; it is a strategic business advantage. Companies that recognise and act on the importance of accessibility find themselves at a competitive advantage, not just from a market perspective but also in terms of operational resilience and brand integrity. Thus, investing in  is not merely about inclusivity—it’s a sound business decision that impacts all facets of a company’s operations.

Worthy Mention in Accessibility Awareness

In the 2023 Emmy Awards, Kim Gehrig, a renowned director,  won an Emmy award for Outstanding Commercial. The award-winning ad, created for Apple, was celebrated for its powerful portrayal of accessibility features. Gehrig’s work highlighted how Apple’s innovative technology empowers people with disabilities, showcasing the real-world impact of accessibility in everyday technology use. This commercial not only elevated public awareness about the importance of inclusivity in tech design but also underscored Gehrig’s ability to convey profound messages through visually compelling narratives, thereby reinforcing the pivotal role of creative vision in advocating for inclusivity.

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Improving Customer Experience Through Accessibility

Enhancing web accessibility is an effective strategy to improve the overall customer experience, which further reiterates that web accessibility matters. Accessible websites cater not only to those with disabilities but also provide a better user experience for all visitors. This inclusivity leads to higher satisfaction rates and a stronger brand image.

One significant aspect of accessible websites is their usability. An accessible website is typically easier to navigate and understand, which benefits all users, including older adults, those with temporary disabilities, and even those using mobile devices in challenging environments. For instance, clear navigation and button labels help users find what they need quickly, while alternative text for images ensures that information is not missed by those who cannot see them.

Additionally, accessibility can enhance the functionality of a website. Features such as keyboard navigation and voice commands are not only essential for users with physical limitations but are also increasingly used by the general population. Implementing these features can lead to an intuitive user experience, encouraging longer visits and more interactions. Websites that support these functionalities are seen as technologically adept and customer-focused, attributes that can significantly boost customer loyalty and advocacy.

Moreover, making your website accessible reflects a commitment to equality and social responsibility. This commitment can strengthen your brand’s reputation and differentiate it in a competitive market. Customers are becoming more socially conscious and tend to support businesses that demonstrate ethical practices, including inclusivity. By prioritising accessibility, businesses can attract a broader demographic, resonate with a community-minded audience, and enhance customer engagement through positive social values.

In essence, accessibility to the website of your business matters  and is not just about enabling access; it’s about enriching the customer experience. By removing barriers and simplifying interactions, businesses can ensure that all customers have a satisfying and engaging experience on their websites, thereby fostering loyalty and driving business success.

Tools and Technologies for Enhancing Web Accessibility

To achieve and maintain accessibility to your business website, businesses must leverage a variety of tools and technologies designed to assist in creating and managing accessible content. Web accessibility matters and implementing these tools not only aids in compliance with accessibility standards but also ensures a seamless user experience for all visitors.

Assistive Technologies: Understanding and supporting assistive technologies is fundamental for enhancing this feature. These technologies include screen readers, which read out text on a screen for visually impaired users, and speech recognition software that allows users to input text through voice. Ensuring compatibility with these tools is essential for making your website accessible to a diverse audience.

Development Tools: Several web development tools can help in creating accessible websites. Automated accessibility testing tools, such as WAVE or Axe, provide developers with the ability to test web pages and identify issues related to accessibility. These tools are invaluable in ensuring that web elements such as forms, buttons, and navigation menus comply with accessibility standards from the outset.

Plugins and Widgets: There are numerous plugins and widgets available for content management systems like WordPress that enhance accessibility. These can automate many aspects of maintaining accessibility standards, such as font size adjustments and colour contrast features. Implementing these plugins can significantly reduce the manual effort required to ensure ongoing accessibility.

Accessibility Audits: Conducting regular accessibility audits is crucial for maintaining compliance and ensuring that all users have the best possible experience on your site. These audits can be performed using a combination of automated tools and manual testing by accessibility experts. Regular feedback from users with disabilities can also provide practical insights into how the website functions in real-world scenarios.

By incorporating these tools and technologies, businesses can not only meet legal and ethical obligations but also enhance their brand’s digital presence. Accessible websites are typically faster, rank better in search engines, and provide a better user experience, all of which are crucial for SEO and customer retention. Investing in accessibility tools is a strategic approach to developing a more inclusive and successful online business.

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Now, Achieve Desired Web Accessibility With Delivered Social

Ensuring that the website which represents your business is accessible  is essential for providing an excellent customer experience and expanding market reach. Achieving this can be complex, but Delivered Social simplifies the process. As experts in digital marketing and web design, Delivered Social helps businesses ensure their websites are accessible to everyone, including those with disabilities.

Delivered Social offers comprehensive services, from auditing existing sites for compliance to implementing designs that meet the highest standards of accessibility. Their approach leverages the latest technologies and adheres to current WCAG guidelines, ensuring your website not only meets legal requirements but also enhances user engagement.

Don’t let web accessibility be a barrier to your business success. Partner with Delivered Social to create an inclusive digital environment that drives engagement and fosters customer loyalty. Contact Delivered Social today to make your website accessible to all.

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