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Blog: 5 ways in which accessibility will improve your business

Jarno Ojala

October 21 2020

5 ways in which accessibility will improve your business | Vincit
In this blog post, I will tell you why building an accessible service is not only the right but also the business-savvy thing to do. I will introduce five ways in which accessibility will improve your business online.
5 ways in which accessibility will improve your business | Vincit

Hi y’all, I’m Jarno Ojala and I work as a user experience designer, service designer and user researcher at Vincit. My heart beats for design that takes all users into consideration.

Although building an accessible service is the ethical thing to do, paying attention to accessibility also makes sense from a business perspective. Yet, especially private online services still have a lot to improve when it comes to the accessibility. In this text, I will talk about five ways in which accessibility will improve your business.

Accessibility

  1. Increases the number of potential customers.
  2. Improves user experience for everybody.
  3. Enhances the conversion rate of your service and reduces the users’ frustration.
  4. Improves the findability of your service.
  5. Makes your service more futureproof.

At the end of the text, I will provide some practical tips and tricks that will help you develop the accessibility of your own digital service.

1. Accessibility increases the number of potential customers

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), one in seven people has some limitation that affects their daily life. These people form the obvious target group for accessible services, but the number of users that in some way benefit from accessible design is much higher. Accessible design helps every one of us in situations where our observational capacity is reduced due age or our environment, for example, or where our ability to focus is limited. If you decide not to pay attention to accessibility, you effectively turn away a significant number of potential users from your service. Ellinoora’s blog article gives some great insights into the topic, if you want to find out more.

2. Accessibility improves user experience for everybody

Service experience has a big impact on the image and even reputation of companies. Nowadays, the user experience of a digital service forms a major part of the overall service experience. If some potential customers can’t access a service, their user experience can’t be very good either.
A bad user experience and unavailable service, in particular, weaken service and brand image as well as people’s willingness to use the service. These experiences are something users also communicate to their networks. Accessibility and user experience overlap to a considerable degree, so by taking accessibility requirements into account, you simultaneously enhance the user experience of your service. Tuukka’s blog article discusses some of the most common accessibility problems if you want to find out more about the topic.

3. Accessibility enhances the conversion rate of your service and reduces the users’ frustration

By taking care of the accessibility of your site, you also ensure that the most important elements of the website – such as purchase journeys or how you fill out forms – are taken care of in manner that is reliable and error- and frustration-free. This way improving accessibility directly enhances the conversion rate of those functions you wish your users to always complete successfully.

4. Accessibility improves the findability of your service

When the semantics, structure, and text descriptions for components, images and other content elements of your web service are in order, you automatically improve your findability in search engines. Unified, clear, and relevant terms also improve internal findability within your service.
It’s beneficial to understand that the way, for example, Google’s web robots act closely resembles a user who employs a screen reader to browse a site. When information is made easily accessible to the user, it is also easily available to web robots. Elements that promote website accessibility, such as alt attributes, heading levels, and a clear site structure, are simultaneously important elements for search engine optimization. In other words, building an accessible website means taking care of SEO. If you’d like to find out more, read Kia Lieke’s excellent Master’s thesis.

Accessibility enhances the user experience of a service, and an improved UX leads to a better search engine ranking. In addition, the search engine visibility of a website can be enhanced by appropriate naming, site maps, video and image captions, as well as a better semantic structure.

5. Accessibility makes your service more futureproof

Nothing is as difficult as predicting the future. Luckily, we are nevertheless able to identify some trends. The trend related to accessibility legislation seems clear enough: there is a need for accessibility and it will be something that both public and private services are required to take into account in the future. We have previously discussed the future of accessibility legislation in this Finnish-language webinar.

Taking accessibility into consideration helps you maintain the reputation of your service and simultaneously reduces your probability of ending up in the headlines in the future. In addition, accessibility makes your service more compatible with both existing and future devices and technologies.

Taking accessibility into consideration helps you maintain the reputation of your service and simultaneously reduces your probability of ending up in the headlines in the future. In addition, accessibility makes your service more compatible with both existing and future devices and technologies.

How to start improving your accessibility?

If you’re about to start a new development project, take accessibility into account from the get-go. Engage designers and developers who you know to be familiar with accessibility. If you have an existing service, accessibility development can begin with an accessibility audit and by getting the lay of the land. In this case, make sure to add the audit results to the development roadmap.

If your service is publicly funded, there’s no time to waste. If your service operates in the private sector and you’ve checked that the accessibility legislation doesn’t yet apply to you, approach the topic from a business angle. You can also be almost certain that in the future accessibility requirements will extend to concern your service as well.

No matter which scenario above applies to you, the right place and time to begin is here and now. If you’re not quite sure about how to get started with accessibility, get in contact and we’ll be more than happy to help.

 

 

 

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