If your website is public-facing, then website accessibility is something you’re finding is becoming more and more of a point for a successful online presence. Especially if your site is customer-facing, you want it to be as easy as possible to work with; hindered interactions drive customers away, period. Today’s Internet view doesn’t have the time or patience to deal with sites that are difficult to navigate, and they will typically move on in less than a minute if stymied.
Stories Versus Metrics
Of course, much of the problem with site assessment tends to be anecdotal review. Generally, these come in the form of personal opinions about what is going on with a site versus hard metrics. This sort of behavior is, unfortunately, due to laziness. With the number of metrics available on traffic behavior on a website, the aversion to numbers and measurements is simply inexcusable in today’s marketing and site maintenance. And, given the fact that many data visualization tools are very easy to work with now, there’s no reason not to have appropriate measurements on hand. The only difference between regular traffic metrics and accessibility metrics involves filtering the responses specific to accessibility concerns.
Where Exactly is the Traffic Taking an Offramp?
Most businesses are hyper-sensitive to how easy it is to lose a customer between an original contact with the desired product and actual commitment to a sale. There are big Grand Canyon gaps between the original page view, the shopping cart, and the final sale. In between those gaps, people can get easily frustrated and fail to commit to the final purchase. Interestingly, while everyone is keeping metrics on how often these gaps claim a shopper , very few businesses are tracking whether the reason is due to the next page being hard to navigate for them. Take someone who is colorblind; would a green “buy” button without a label be inclusive or informative? The fact is, 12 million people older than age 40 live with visual impairments. 61 million people right now have some kind of disability. If even half of those are affected by barriers made worse by bad website design, then their lack of accessibility is blocking upwards of 30 million people in a potential audience.
Tools are Available, But They Paint Half a Picture
Fortunately, there are a lot of tools available for website accessibility checks. Simple page assessments can be had using online tools like IBM’s Accessibility Checker. Additionally, there is the Website Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) testing tool list as well. This library includes over 100 different tools for accessibility and related issue-spotting for site developers. However, while these online tools do help, they don’t give a complete picture of what needs to be done. That comes with skill and experience applying accessibility principles.
Getting Comprehensive Help for a New Baseline
Alternatively, a business could use a provider like accessibe to run evaluations and data metrics on an existing portal to confirm exactly what is going on with accessibility. This type of approach provides valuable quantitative metrics on traffic and which areas are triggering significant losses of follow-through or commitment because of accessibility problems. Website audits like those provided in accessibe reviews save time, energy, and workload by pinpointing with data where the most serious changes need to happen first. Site administrators can then keep their resources focused on maintenance and aim their efforts at key steps with big outcomes based on the reporting received. The approach has proven itself time and again, especially when time deadlines are pressing to fix accessibility problems quickly.