When clients come to us to develop a website or app, for example, they often have a number of standard requirements: the website or app must look nice, be user-friendly, rank high in search results and, of course, work well. But that list is missing an important point. Is your digital product even digitally accessible?
Websites and apps for everyone
We have long been developing digital products for companies and organizations with a social purpose. Consider, for example, the Great Neighborhood app, the website for Refugee Talent Hub or the Stopcoach app (still in development). During these collaborations, we learned that digital accessibility is essential to developing a successful product. This led us to delve more deeply into this subject. Digital accessibility means that websites and apps are designed and built so that everyone can use them. So also people with disabilities.
The Netherlands has over 3 million people struggling with digital inaccessibility. These include the blind, the visually impaired, the deaf, the hard of hearing and the low-literate, as well as people who are temporarily limited, such as by a broken arm. This group becomes even larger when you include dyslexics.
It seems logical to ensure that those people can also participate equally in society. And that they can order pants online like anyone else or have their groceries delivered to their home via an app. However, digital accessibility is given very little consideration in practice.
Digital accessibility means that websites and apps are designed and built so that anyone can use them. So also people with disabilities.
We believe in a digital world accessible to all. That’s why we want to be leaders in creating beautiful, smart, user-friendly digital products that are accessible to everyone.
What are the laws and regulations surrounding digital accessibility?
As of July 1, 2018, it is already mandatory for government and semi-government organizations to develop websites and mobile apps according to the accessibility requirements established by the EU.
Some of those requirements consist of relatively simple things like subtitling videos, but also consider making sure there is enough contrast on your website or offering a read-aloud feature. There is a whole list of standards out there that will help you make your website or app accessible.
Accessibility means a better experience for everyone
The beauty of creating accessible websites, is that it ultimately provides a better experience for ALL your users. Because even for people without disabilities, it is nice if a website is clear and works well. Research has also shown that websites that score well on accessibility reach a larger audience, rank higher in Google and are more user-friendly than websites that score low on accessibility.
How accessible is your digital product?
Wondering how accessible your digital product is? We have developed a method to assess the accessibility of your website or app in a quick and effective way. Read more about our method here.
Want to learn more about what digital accessibility means for your organization?