Even though businesses have been legally required to make their websites accessible for those with disabilities, a survey from December 2019 found that a whopping 98% of web pages from across the globe did not meet accessibility guidelines in at least one area. With an increase in web traffic as people spend even more time online during the pandemic, accessibility has become even more important.
Another survey that was done a few months after the survey mentioned above found that these most basic features were missing from the top one million homepages worldwide:
- Low-contrast text
- Alternative text for images
- Links that were actually linked to something
As a result of these accessibility oversights, thousands of lawsuits have been filed – and won.
Smart brands are being proactive about making their online presence accessible. And they’re using the latest available technology to do it: AI, machine learning, virtual/augmented reality, mobile apps, voice assistants and assistive/adaptive hardware. And rather than trying to make their sites accessible after the fact, brands are instead employing inclusive design to build their sites to provide accessibility from the beginning.
Providing an accessible online experience makes sense in several ways. Not only does it provide a sense of inclusion and goodwill from those who need assistance with online interactions, it also helps make sites simpler and easier to use for even more people.