As a business, you know that web design is a critical element of your marketing. Everything about the design should be thought through and carefully crafted to maximize its reach. Everything, including making all aspects of your website accessible for those with disabilities.
Specifically, people with disabilities are among your potential customers. According to a study published by the National Center on Disability and Journalism, nearly 20% of adults in America have disabilities. Furthermore, the number of people with disabilities will only increase as the average age of the American population increases.
This includes a variety of disabilities that affect different people in different ways. In general, there are three broad categories of disability: physical, mental, and environmental. Physical disabilities include differently-abled people who may need wheelchairs, seeing aids (such as binoculars), or hearing aids. For those with physical disabilities, online interaction can be complex.
Mental disabilities could range from autism to attention deficit disorder (ADD). Mental disabilities affect how people interact with their environment; in particular, websites are subject to a person’s cognitive ability. For example, a website that is too text-heavy or requires intensive reading could prove a burden for those with ADD or other mental disabilities.
Environmental disabilities could include those who suffer from environmental sensitivities, such as allergies to certain metals and plastics. In addition, such people may be “electrosensitive”; they have increased sensitivity to electromagnetic field light. For those with environmental sensitivities, a website may cause headaches or other symptoms that can affect their ability to use a website effectively.
In each case above, the key is to make your website as easy as possible for people with disabilities to use by adjusting its design and content according to their needs.
Why It Matters to Your Website
Now that your company is aware of the importance of catering to people with disabilities in website design, you may be wondering, “Why should I bother?” Here are some key reasons why supporting accessibility in your web design can benefit your business.
Increased Efficiency for Current Customers
A website that is accessible means that you have a more inclusive webspace and facilitate more accessibility for all of your current or potential customers. Companies like accessiBe make it easy for you to ensure that all of your customers have the same level playing field by automating the process of web accessibility using a combination of machine learning and AI.
Increased Revenue and Retention
Having a website that is accessible can help you to retain current customers and improve customer satisfaction. However, if disabled people cannot access your site, it may cause them considerable frustration as they try (and fail) to complete simple tasks such as finding contact details or browsing through products. In the long run, this can result in a loss of revenue.
Increased Customer Base
By making your website accessible to people with disabilities, you broaden the customer base to access your webspace and encourage more people to explore your brand. It can also help highlight differences in how different groups experience your site (for example, by age group). This helps improve overall product design and user experience.
Increased Reach to New Customers
In a time when competition is high, appealing to a variety of people with different interests and lifestyles is key. In addition, creating an accessible website for those with disabilities means that you can provide a better customer experience, expanding your business in the process.
An accessible website can form a positive and diverse community in the online space. Customers with disabilities are actively engaged to seek out products or services that meet their needs.
Remember: Everyone deserves access to your company’s website – get the right tools at accessiBe to make it easy for you!