How Can You Make Your Amazing Web Content Accessible *

How Can You Make Your Amazing Web Content Accessible *

How do the Guidelines Require Accessibility for All

 

Increased scrutiny has made Web Accessibility a hot issue around the globe.  In the United States, law firms are aggressively suing businesses and institutions.  These claims say that their websites fail to satisfy both Title III of the American Disabilities Act and Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act.  

WCAG 2.0 had provided guidelines, rather than laws or regulations.  In the United States, Congress failed to enact any meaningful legislation to provide firm directions on how to proceed.  In the European Union they acted and passed the General Data Protection Regulations.  The GDPR provides strong rules and regulations and tells exactly how individuals data must be handled.

 

What Does Web Accessibility Mean to the Disabled?

 

Most of us are familiar with how Accessibility applies to physical business places.  However, little thought has been given to how Accessibility applies to the Internet.  Accessibility on the World Wide Web demands that we break down barriers and open a clear path for everyone.  

This means that web pages must be designed so that those with Visual, Hearing, Motor and Cognitive disabilities have an equal opportunity to navigate and access every web page.

 

What Does WCAG 2.0 Tell Us is Important for Accessibility

 

Published in 2008, WCAG 2.0 consists of twelve guidelines that are organized under four principles.  The four WCAG principles, frequently called P.O.U.R., require that all websites must be perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust.    

Each guideline also has testable success criteria.  To help web designers meet WCAG 2.0 guidelines a group of techniques were developed.  These techniques come with their own criteria to measure success. 

 

 

How do the Four Principles Make Your Content Accessible?

 

In the following sections we will take a closer look at each of the four WCAG 2.0 principles.  We will discuss how the four P.O.U.R. principles, perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust must be rooted in every aspect of our website design.

A study conducted by the University of Utah analyzed over 1,000,000,000 website home pages for web accessibility.  Their findings were a mixed bag of results, with 97.8% of home pages having WCAG 2.0 conformance failures.  The good news is that WCAG many WCAG conformance failures can be easily remedied.

Let’s take a look at each of the WCAG 2.0 principles and the guidelines reccomended for each principle.

 

Perceivable Principle

 

Your web information and user interface components must be presented to users in ways that they can perceive.

  • Guideline 1.1: Provide text alternatives for any non-text content so that it can be changed into other forms people need, such as large print, braille, speech, symbols or simpler language.
  • Guideline 1.2: Time-based media: Provide alternatives for time-based media.
  • Guideline 1.3: Create content that can be presented in different ways (for example simpler layout) without losing information or structure.
  • Guideline 1.4: Make it easier for users to see and hear content including separating foreground from background.

 

 

Operable Principle

 

Your web user interface components and navigation must be operable by your visitors.

  • Guideline 2.1: Make all functionality available from a keyboard.
  • Guideline 2.2: Provide users enough time to read and use content.
  • Guideline 2.3: Do not design content in a way that is known to cause seizures.
  • Guideline 2.4: Provide ways to help users navigate, find content, and determine where they are.

 

 

Understandable Principle

 

Your visitors must find your information and the operation of user your interface to be understandable.

 

 

Robust Principle

 

Your web content must be robust enough that visitors can interpret it reliably using a wide variety of user agents and assistive technologies.

  • Guideline 4.1.: Maximize compatibility with current and future user agents, including assistive technologies.

 

 

 

You Should Act Immediately to Make Your Content Accessible

 

Place a Strong Accessibility Statement on Your Website

 

What you definitely should do first is place a strong Accessibility Statement on your website.  Then audit your site to check it’s accessibility and discover it’s shortcomings.  Next you need to decide if it’s time to redesign your site to address what you discovered during your audit.

Does your site need to be completely redesigned to embrace accessibility. If it does, find a web developer with the web accessibility knowledge required.  Then begin the redesign process.

If your site has been built using WordPress there are many options available to help you acheive web accessibility.  Look for themes or plug-ins designed to help make your site accessible.  

I chose the DIVI theme which has a robust approach to helping you make your site accessible for all.

 

4 mobile app trends business owners need during COVID *

4 mobile app trends business owners need during COVID *

It’s no secret — we live in a mobile app world. Since 2016, mobile use has trended upwards. Mobile has surpassed desktop usage and proved itself as an almost limitless means of connecting with others, conducting research and making purchases anytime, anywhere. As such, mobile app trends are on the minds of many entrepreneurs.

But, how has COVID-19 impacted consumer mobile engagement?

Well, in short, smartphone usage has increased across the globe since the start of the pandemic.

The pandemic has highlighted the value of mobile devices in the digital age, creating an interesting mix of emerging mobile app trends.

If you’re a small business owner looking to offer more value to your existing customers while attracting new audiences in the age of COVID-19, here are the mobile app trends you need to know about.

Related: Take your small business online — A step-by-step guide

Immersive mobile experiences

First in our rundown of essential COVID-10 mobile app trends, we look at the steady rise of immersive mobile experience since the start of the pandemic.

In recent years, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) have changed from far-fetched sci-fi movie features to a living, breathing part of our everyday existence. And it was immersive mobile experiences like IKEA Place that showcased the value of everyday AR or VR to a wider audience.

During COVID-19, the value of VR-driven innovation has increased as consumers the world over have started to search for new ways of connecting with friends, families or businesses in isolation.

Man Using VR Headset And Remote

Instagram’s launch of Spark AR, for instance, presents new ways of presenting immersive mobile experiences to the public — a clear indication that in the not so distant future, mobile apps will become the main vessel for AR- or VR-based innovations.

Immersive dressing rooms, virtual tours, interactive collaborative platforms and in-depth mobile-based tutorials are just a handful of ways that in-app VR and AR are shifting the landscape as we know it.

If you’re looking for new ways to stand out in your niche and connect with your target audience on a level that will encourage long-term commitment, it’s wise to invest in AR or VR mobile app features.

Community-driven mobile app trends

One of the most striking mobile app trends we’ve seen during the pandemic has to be the uptick in community-driven platforms.

From face mask fulfillment and contactless care package drop-offs to frontline worker support, many brands have put their focus on serving the people in their respective locales during the pandemic.

Brands are using mobile communications to deliver important messaging and offer helpful services during the pandemic.

In addition, dating app adoption has reached record levels — as have instant messaging apps — as communities have rallied together to keep in touch and share vital information during times of social distance or isolation.

COVID-19 has demonstrated the community-building value of mobile technology.

By regularly communicating with your local or regional customers through mobile and setting up groups, forums or notification boards, you will spark engagement while meeting your customers’ needs head-on as the pandemic endures.

Editor’s note: Our COVID-19 community support section will give you the ideas and inspiration to get started.

Mobile-based push marketing

The sheer magnitude of the pandemic has placed enormous value on real-time mobile interactions and information.

A study from customer engagement specialist Airship showed that mobile app download and notification open rates skyrocketed.

Expanding on our previous point about the rise in local- and community-driven apps, more businesses than ever are using push marketing communications to reach their customers at times where they’re likely to be most engaged.

Person Holding Phone On Table

Say you’re a running shoe retailer. You might choose to deliver in-app push notifications to your customers when the weather is pleasant in their locale, offering them some tips, advice and inspiration to increase engagement. Or, you could create a push notification about a new product at the time you know your customers are most likely to interact with your app.

There are countless ways to take advantage of mobile push marketing — and in a time when engagement, as well as open rates, are so high, you should.

In-app transactions

As far as COVID-19 mobile app trends go, this is arguably the most valuable as it’s a concept that incorporates all of the ideas above, and more.

As we migrate toward a world that’s even more mobile, an increasing number of people are making day-to-day in-app transactions including managing finances, making purchases, dating, connecting with peers or staying up to date with news or trends.

Related: 7 mobile SEO best practices to boost Google search ranking

Cash in on the trend toward mobile apps

Now the average U.S. mobile user alone spends around three hours and 47 minutes each day interacting with apps, which translates to 88% of all mobile traffic.

By focusing on building a mobile app experience that seamlessly connects all of your business’s platforms and touchpoints, and offers personal value, you will boost your chances of encouraging more positive transactions while growing your audience now and as the pandemic starts to slow down.

Invest in the mobile strategies you know will offer your audience real value and boost your business prospects.

In addition to focusing on the mobile app trends above, you should:

  • Use the consumer-based data you have to create personalized mobile experiences for your customers.
  • Create a sense of customer loyalty, offering exclusive deals and content to those who download and interact with your app.
  • Leverage AI technology like chatbots to improve the user experience you offer your customers.
  • Make it as easy as possible for your customers to make transactions or purchases in your mobile app without being too salesy or pushy. Personable, quirky content and clean call-to-action buttons will help.

“As people self-isolate to flatten the curve, social apps have become essential tools for keeping users up to date and informed.” — Think With Google.

We hope these mobile app trends have inspired you to get out there and reach more customers.

If you’re looking to improve your website and reach more mobile-hungry customers, check out GoDaddy’s Websites + Marketing for an effective and easy to manage website and built-in marketing solutions.

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