5 Reasons Why Focusing on Inclusive Web Design Has a Positive Impact on Business Growth
Inclusive web design is the art of ensuring that everyone has the best chance of accessing and enjoying your website and its content, and that means considering potential disabilities and things people might struggle with.
For instance, best websites make sure that they provide content to people who are hard of hearing or struggle significantly with their vision. There are a lot of different ways in which adaptations can be made. Most browsers allow people to adjust things like the font size. An option such as this works great as long as you use relative styles for your text and containers. There are many other additions that developers can put in place. For example, a transcription service would be good for audio content.
It is vital that you make sure that whoever lands on your website has a way to access the information. It’s not just a case of doing the right thing, it is also a case of making sure that you stay compliant with the law.
Gain a larger market share
It’s really simple. Imagine a disabled person in a wheelchair has the choice of going to a supermarket that has a wheelchair ramp they can use, or one that doesn’t. They’re always going to choose the supermarket that accounts for their needs. Regardless of the discriminatory aspect and the fact that it is the right thing to do, it is also worth considering the fact that you can build your market share in this way.
We live in a world that values inclusivity. This is the right way to be. Over time, companies that don’t share the same values will likely find themselves getting smaller as people decide to go elsewhere.
Similarly, companies that prioritize people with disabilities and give them the access they need are likely to grow.
Obviously, they can rest assured that they will access more of the market because of the fact that it is easier for disabled people to use their services. It doesn’t only apply to blind people either. If you can make it easy for people with motor skill issues, people with cognitive development delays, or people who are easily distracted, it is much more likely that you will achieve your goal as a business, no matter what that happens to be. An online store that is usable by everyone may make more sales.
Address to the needs of the disability sector
The disability sector is huge, and some estimates claim that as many as 1 in 4 people in the U.S. have a disability of some sort. Imagine losing 25% of potential customers just because of the fact that you didn’t account for them on your website.
Of course, disabilities come in a variety of different forms, and conditions vary so much that it can be tricky to know exactly what kind of measures to take.
There are many consultancies that can help you to create the correct website in terms of accounting for the needs of other people and this means building an amazing website that anyone who wants to can see and enjoy full functionality. Most especially, web designs for home services must consider these details.
It is also the right thing to do. It is very hard to justify to the public or to business shareholders if you have not accounted for any group of people, especially those who might want to use your services but are prevented from doing so due to your poor web design. Think about the common disabilities, and how your site can make changes to accommodate people who have these. Many platforms such as WordPress allow you full access to your website’s code which can make your life easier when you are designing an accessible website. It doesn’t have to be an extremely difficult thing to do.
Using a web design company that has a history of creating inclusive websites can greatly help you, as they will know exactly what it takes to provide you with a great site that allows everyone to use it just as easily.
Avoid being sued
Laws such as the Americans with Disability Act (ADA), and other rules and restrictions require that you ensure that disabled people can use your site as well as non-disabled individuals. All 50 U.S. states have to follow guidelines around the accessibility of websites, which serve to keep the site accessible and not discriminate against disabled people.
Think carefully about your own information and how accessible it is. If your site doesn’t provide ways for disabled people to easily find your business or communicate with you, then you may be in violation of the law.
If you have ADA violations on your site, it is even possible that you could face a lawsuit. Somebody could take legal action due to the fact that you have not accommodated their needs, which could equate to discrimination in the eyes of the law.
It makes perfect sense. Imagine if your favorite band released gig tickets on their website but you couldn’t see the details because they weren’t easily accessible. It is impossible to argue that this isn’t discrimination, and as a result, it means that there could be legal recourse.
Is it likely that you will be sued for your website not being inclusive? It depends largely upon what industry you are in, and how serious the issues are, but it is best to be compliant with the regulations which allow you to rest easy.
Increase page traffic
It also makes sense that an inclusive design will improve the traffic to your pages. There are a few ways this may happen.
- People are more likely to share a link that is inclusive. If you have a relative that struggles to read things in smaller fonts, but you find a site that can accommodate their needs, you are more likely to show them and send them a link.
- People will stick around and read more pages on the site. It is more likely that you will continue to click links and explore the site if you find it gives you the info you want and that you can easily access all of the content. If you are the type of person who has a disability that can often cause them to struggle to find what they need then it is possible that this is rare, and you might even bookmark the site knowing it is a place where you can continue to go to find information.
- Search engines may improve how they rank your site. Indirectly, the benefit could be better positions on Google or other search engines. Nobody knows exactly what is in the algorithm Google uses and it could be that it actually uses certain signifiers that the content is accessible. If not, things like time spent on the page and whether people bookmark the page and share with others could all be indicators. These are more likely on an accessible site.
Decrease bounce rates
Among the things that indicate the success of your website is the bounce rate. This means the number of people who find your site and then immediately click away. This metric is used when it comes to your website but it is also used by Google to help to establish the quality of your site. If you sell advertising space people will also want to know about your bounce rates before they part with the money required.
Bounce rates are the equivalent of someone walking into a store and walking straight out again. You would much rather have somebody visit your site and find something they want. You at least want them to browse around and look at what you have available.
As time goes on, people are going to expect inclusivity, as more and more companies provide disabled people with a simple way to check out the information on their site. If they come across a website or app that doesn’t fit their needs, they are just going to click away again. This is definitely bad for business so you need to make sure you do all you can to prevent it from happening on your own site.
There is absolutely no denying it. Inclusive web design is the way forward, and it is the right thing to do. However, you shouldn’t think of it as an added cost or a difficult thing for your business to have to implement. It is an investment in providing the ideal website for people with disabilities, and it can also lead to business growth as you account for the 25% of people who may have some issues with using your site ordinarily.
It is not just about good PR, it is about business growth, doing what is right, and providing a site that caters for everyone. Web designers do not have to do too much to make websites inclusive for everyone who wants to access the internet, and should give everyone the same access.