Are you a web designer or freelancer in the world of online marketing and eCommerce? Maybe you are a site owner and run an online business of your own? Or maybe you are doing a little bit of both…
In either case, it’s extremely important for you to always be aware of the latest changes implemented by Google, how to keep your site responsive across all devices, and also to keep an eye out for any other new trends and regulations getting attention.
The world of site design and eCommerce is changing all the time. What was once a world of static HTML and one-way conversations, is now a world fueled by user engagement and content creation.
While all of this is going on, it’s also important to make sure your site and online business cater to the needs of all audiences and also following any new rules and regulations that might be in place. After all, just like every visitor has their own reason for visiting your site, they might also have their own special needs to actually use and navigate through your site.
This topic has actually been getting a lot of focus lately. Site owners and brands need to make sure their websites are compliant with ADA and WCAG standards, while also catering to audiences with disabilities, limitations, or special needs.
To learn more about these latest changes and regulations that are rocking the world of site design and eCommerce, be sure to read on as we cover each of the major data points and key factors in detail.
What is Web Accessibility and Why It Matters to Site Owners
Yet, to to the average site owner, when first hearing about ‘web accessibility’, it might seem like it’s the simple concept of making sure your site is accessible by audiences. One would think this simply means making sure your domain name and hosting is set up correctly, and that your site is responsive across all devices and platforms.
Unfortunately, it’s quite a bit more complex than that.
With the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) regulations going into effect and word spreading quickly on the compliance and rules around them, site owners and online businesses are rushing to find out what they can do to get compliant and stay protected.
Protected… you ask? Yes, if you don’t have a website and online business that is fully compliant and web-accessible to all audiences with disabilities and limitations, it could end up coming back and hurting you big time. In fact, Walmart, Nike, Burger King, and Target are just two of the many big brand names that had to pay millions of dollars in legal fees and litigation.
The good news is, there are ways to make your site compliant, and they are often the most effective and easier to set up than you might think.
If you already have an existing website or eCommerce store up and running, you likely already know about the importance of having a great site design and standing out from the competition. During the site creation process, you probably spent a lot of time and effort on making sure your text sizes and fonts were correctly, while also making sure you had a fast loading site and a great overall user experience.
This is all perfect, but to stay compliant with the rules and regulations of the ADA and WCAG, your site must provide a customized experience to individuals with epilepsy, ADHD, limited visibility, and even hearing loss.
If someone comes to your site and finds they are unable to experience it in the same way average visitors are, your brand could be next to rank amongst other big market players that were sued for not being web-accessible.
Even if you are a site designer or programmer, it’s virtually impossible to customize the look and feel of your site to meet the needs of all of these audiences — and how are you supposed to know who needs them in place and when?
The good news is, there is a solution out there that is revolutionizing the web accessibility market, while also making it fast and easy for site owners and businesses to become ADA and WCAG compliant.
According to Web Designer Depot, a solution could be accessible.
Through the use of their machine-learning and AI-powered platform, site owners simply need to add a line of code to their site to become compliant within as little as 48 hours. As a result of this code being added to a site, it will enable an Accessibility Application to appear over the site (when a handicap icon is clicked) that allows for in-browser customization of the following:
- Cognitive Disabilities (assists in reading and focus)
- Keyboard Navigation (use a site with your keyboard)
- ADHD Friendly (more focus and fewer distractions)
- Blind Users (screen-reader capabilities)
- Epilepsy Safe (eliminates flashes and reduces color)
- Visually Impaired (enhance site visuals and content)
With the line of code on your site and the browser-based application being hosted through accessiBe, this allows for 100% compliance of all existing and future regulations and guidelines — as updates or changes to the laws can be made on the accessiBe backend and displayed on your site immediately.
You can see a working example of this feature in action if you were to visit glassesusa.com, or by simply referring to the screenshot below.
When arriving on the site, you will see a little wheelchair icon at the top of the page in the main menu area. If you were to click it, this would then display the Accessibility Adjustments application right within the same browser, with no software to add or install.
The Importance of Web Accessibility in Site Design
As mentioned at the beginning of the article, it doesn’t matter if you are a site owner, a freelance designer, or even an eCommerce-based company, web accessibility, and compliance are going to affect everyone.
However, as an online business or brand, it’s also important to not look at these rules and regulations as just another problem you have to deal with. Instead, think about how the millions of people with disabilities are accessing the internet (or trying to) on a daily basis.
By making sure your site and online business are compliant with ADA and WCAG standards, not only will you be protecting your site from potential lawsuits and demand letters, but you will also be providing a better experience for a good portion of your site visitors and customers as well.