Accessibility adaptation, is a methodology aimed at improving an e-commerce or website so that more people can use it. This is achieved by first analyzing all elements of the existing website and documenting any possible accessibility improvements that can be made to them. These improvements can range from contrast between text color and background color to spacing between elements or size of clickable areas.
The documented improvements are compiled into a document that is intended to be processed by implementing the changes on the website. Depending on the impact of the improvement on the website’s user experience, they are given different priorities and are implemented on the website in several stages.
The Accessibility Directive is an initiative by the EU and the Swedish Parliament. This means that a range of digital, or non-materialistic, services and products have certain requirements for how user-friendly they must be. The initiative is based on the idea that the web must become a tool that everyone can use, even if they have a disability. The initiative came into effect in 2022 and will become a requirement in 2025.
Technology has come a long way when it comes to tools, instruments, and aids needed for different types of disabilities. People with cognitive disabilities, immobility, paralysis or deafness, blindness, color blindness, or a temporary reduction in mobility such as a broken arm, all need different types of aids and tools to make their everyday lives work.
These are people who make their purchases online, order food online, pay bills online, and book medical appointments online. They need to be able to rely on the fact that the websites and e-commerce sites they use are accessible and usable for them as well.
The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 (WCAG 2.0) is a set of international common guidelines for accessibility-adapted web. WCAG is the result of a collaboration between individuals and organizations around the world with the goal of setting a common standard for accessibility-adapted web that meets the needs of individuals.
The WCAG documents explain how to make content on an e-commerce or website more accessible to people with disabilities. The content generally refers to information on a specific web page, including:
The WCAG 2.0 guidelines are categorized into three levels to meet the needs of different groups and situations:
An e-commerce site or website that meets the requirements for higher levels automatically also meets the requirements for lower levels. For example; by following the AA criteria, a web page meets both the A and AA criteria. Level A defines the minimum level of accessibility and does not achieve broad accessibility in many situations. For this reason, the AA level is internationally recommended for all web-based information.
In connection with the implementation of the Accessibility Directive and the increasing demand for accessibility adaptation, Google has announced that they are looking at solutions for how their algorithms can assess whether a website is accessibility adapted or not, and that this assessment will become a decisive factor in an e-commerce site or website’s score in search results.
This means that an accessibility-adapted e-commerce site or website could have an advantage in organic search on search engines, particularly Google, compared to an e-commerce site or website that is not accessibility-adapted. However, Google has also announced that it is difficult to quantify accessibility, meaning creating scales and criteria by which a website can be assessed.
At the same time, we believe that accessibility adaptation in many ways goes hand in hand with user-friendliness, and Google has previously used user-friendliness as an algorithmic factor in search results. Therefore, we are convinced that an accessibility-adapted e-commerce site or website that is also user-friendly will see positive results in search engine optimization.
Accessibility is efficient to work with in the sense that we can implement changes and adjustments to an existing e-commerce site or website; in other words, you do not have to create a new website for it to be accessibility adapted. At the same time, accessibility is something we consider during the design phase of all e-commerce sites and websites we create. In short, we can help you adapt both existing and new e-commerce sites and websites for accessibility.
Please feel free to contact us to discuss web accessibility. We would be happy to look at your e-commerce site or website together with you and provide a no-obligation assessment!
No project is too big or small for us. An informal chat or email conversation with us is the first step towards a website that delivers results.