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Accessibility Compliance App - by Xperienz. A useful tool when fixing accessibility errors

January 25, 2023

Accessibility improves the usability for everyone

We live in a world where more and more products and services are available online or through digital tools. We shop online, fill out tax returns, make payments at  ATM terminals, among many other things. But what about someone who’s blind or has low vision? Or someone with a physical limitation? Or someone who’s deaf? Any person, with ou without a disability, has the equal right of navigating a website, using a ticketing machine or an ATM. 

In order for people with physical or cognitive disabilities to be able to access websites and digital tools, they need to be designed and coded properly. The problem is that, in most cases, they are built with accessibility barriers that make them very hard or even impossible for some people to use. 

When developing accessible digital products and services we’re not only making their access available for people with disabilities, we’re also benefiting users who experience a temporary limitation (when we have an arm injury and are incapable of using the mouse, we can navigate a website using the keyboard), or a situational limitation (when we’re in a noisy environment, without headphones, and need to turn on subtitles to understand what’s being said). 

Accessibility has a legal requirement

The recent European Accessibility Act has been alerting companies that offer everyday products and services, such as banks, public transportation, e-commerce, to the need of offering websites and digital tools (such as payment terminals or ticketing machines) accessible to all users, regardless of their ability.

This Directive, recently transposed to the Portuguese National Law (Decreto-Lei n.º 82/2022), states that companies have until 2025 to comply with accessibility requirements. 

Evaluating and fixing accessibility errors

One of the ways to be compliant is evaluating if all users can navigate and complete the necessary tasks in websites, apps or digital tools. 

In this context, Xperienz has been conducting accessibility evaluations that seek to determine the conformity of websites and apps with WCAG 2.0 guidelines and the legally imposed rules. 

What are the WCAG?

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines are a set of web accessibility standards published by the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium), accepted and adopted universally.

The guidelines and success criteria are organised under 4 principles: Perceivable, Operable, Understandable and Robust. These guidelines are organised into three levels of conformance: from A (the most basic) to AAA (the highest and most complex).

The creation of the Accessibility Compliance App

We identified in our clients the need to have a tool that would help them when fixing accessibility errors.

To simplify the presentation of the accessibility evaluation of websites, Xperienz has created the Accessibility Compliance App. We start by doing a content inventory in which we collect all the pages of the site. Then we evaluate each page and list all the aspects that need to be fixed.

Each page presents the visual location of the error, suggestions to fix the code, among other things.

To streamline the progression of the correction work by developers and designers, it is also possible to mark the correction of each page as completed.

View of the list of web pages in the App

Advantages for both companies and users

By making the Web accessible, we’re not only facilitating its access to the approximately 87 million people in the European Union who have a disability (1,5 million in Portugal). We’re also making access easier to the growing aging  population or anyone who experiences a temporary (e.g. arm injury) or situational (e.g. holding a baby) limitation.

Besides users, also companies will benefit. Cross-border trading and mobility will be easier and there will be more market opportunities for their accessible products and services. 

More content on Web Accessibility:

Want to offer a service accessible to everyone?

Xperienz can help you assess if all users can navigate and complete the necessary tasks on your website, app or digital tool.

We perform accessibility audits to access compliance with WCAG guidelines, identifying errors and providing a possible resolution so they can be easily addressed by your team. We also conduct usability tests with users with disabilities to identify possible needs, difficulties or obstacles when using the website.

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