Who benefits from accessibility?
When we talk about accessibility we are not merely thinking of those people with a physical problem, but rather a wider end-user target: from those connecting from a mobile device to immigrants who are not fluent in the local language.
An adapted web page offers everyone information in the most appropriate format, no matter if the connection is made via a small screen, a computer or even from a text-only terminal or a screen reader for the visually impaired.
All in all, accessibility helps a huge part of the population of which there are:
- People with any degree of disability: physical, sensory or cognitive.
- Users connecting from limited devices: phones, electronic agendas etc.
- Users without any previous experience in the use of computer or electronic equipment.
- People using old devices, which are inadequate or with limited connections.
- People with age related limitations.
- Users not knowing the local language.
- People in a restrictive environment: noise, poor lighting etc.
What does accessibility provide your company with?
Accessibility is not only a group of requirements which improves access for a group of people but rather using these accessibility rules involves following Good Programming Practices and thus, creates better quality websites. Accessibility not only benefits its users (website clients), but also the company itself obtains short and long term benefits:
- Better search engine indexing:
- The text alternatives, the structure and the given content semantics enrich the web information and thus, search engines can easily index content. Thanks to this, in a Google search an accessible web page would appear before another one with the same content.
- Usability increase:
- A usable web page may not be accessible. An accessible website is generally usable. This implies that it is easier to use and thus, it has a higher conversion rate: if the user is looking for information they will find it faster, if the web page sells books more people will buy them.
- Increase in potential customers:
- Anyone using any device can connect to an accessible web page. This leads to a significant potential customer increase. Moreover, there will be a group of the population that will not be able to choose and will only be able to connect to accessible sites, therefore reducing rivals.
- Anticipate new legislation:
- Current law requires some companies to have accessible websites. Individual country and European regulations are advancing fast and new rules will soon spread to all companies. When this happens, adaptation costs will increase significantly. Forecasting is the key to preventing future expenses.
- Development and maintenance simplification:
- The use of Best Practices leads to superior development processes and speed increases. Moreover, good content structure, the use of standards and content-presentation separation greatly eases maintenance, both for its developers or for any other developer just hired.
- Cost reduction:
- Best Practices and maintenance simplification mean website creation and update cost reductions.
- Brand image:
- Demand for corporate responsibility is ever increasing in our society. Ecological or social directives are used in most companies. This way, increasing accessibility leads to better brand perception.