Web Accessibility: Empowering Digital Experiences with Sagittarius

16 May 2023

By: Aaron Ingram, QA lead at Sagittarius

Category: Blogs

Here at Sagittarius, we believe web accessibility is vital. As such, I’d like to share with you the importance of website accessibility and the benefits of creating an accessible website for digital marketing clients.

Web accessibility is crucial in designing and developing websites, and digital content everyone can use and understand, including those with visual, auditory, physical, and cognitive disabilities. Ensuring website accessibility is essential because it enables all users to access and use digital content, regardless of their abilities or disabilities. 

Creating an accessible website not only benefits users with disabilities but also has many benefits for the business. An accessible website can improve the user experience, increase engagement, and enhance a website’s search engine optimisation (SEO). Additionally, an accessible website helps reach a wider audience by making it easier for all users to access and engage with the content. 

In this blog, we will dive deeper into the importance of website accessibility and explore the benefits of creating an accessible website for digital marketing clients. We hope this information will help you understand the significance of website accessibility and encourage you to make your website more inclusive for all users. 

Importance of website accessibility

Accessible websites improve user engagement, retention of customers, and brand reputation, making them essential for digital marketing clients. Moreover, many countries require web accessibility by law, which helps clients reach a larger audience.

Unfortunately, many websites have barriers that prevent people with disabilities from accessing and using them. Some common barriers include poor colour contrast, complex navigation, images without alt text, videos without captions or transcripts, inaccessible forms, and non-descriptive links.

To ensure that their websites are accessible, digital marketing clients must prioritise accessibility from the start in their website design and development, taking into account the needs of users with different types of disabilities.

Business benefits of website accessibility

Creating accessible websites can strengthen the business case for website accessibility. Accessible websites can improve user engagement, customer satisfaction, and overall brand image, leading to increased revenue and a competitive advantage in the market. Companies, by creating accessible websites, can reach a larger audience, including people with disabilities who were previously excluded.

Improving website accessibility can increase the customer base and improve customer satisfaction, as users with disabilities can navigate and use the website easily. In addition, accessible websites can enhance the brand image, showing that the company is committed to inclusivity and social responsibility.

Several successful digital marketing campaigns have benefited from accessible website design. For example, Proctor & Gamble’s Gillette created an accessible website to promote its razor products. The website featured clear navigation, alt tags for images, and captioned videos, making it easy for all users to access and use the site. As a result, the campaign received positive feedback from users and won several awards for its inclusive design.

an example of Gillette's accessible website

Legal Obligations and Consequences

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires businesses to make their websites accessible to people with disabilities, ensuring equal access to goods and services. Furthermore, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), widely adopted worldwide, provide a set of standards for website accessibility.

Failure to comply with these legal obligations can result in severe consequences, including lawsuits, fines, and damage to reputation. In recent years, there has been a significant increase in lawsuits related to website accessibility, with many businesses facing legal action for failing to provide accessible websites. These lawsuits can result in substantial financial costs and damage to brand reputation.

Businesses that fail to comply with accessibility standards are at risk of legal action and losing customers, and damaging their brand image. Businesses must prioritise accessibility in their website design and development to ensure legal compliance and avoid potential consequences. Aside from legal reasons, having a website people can use is morally right.

Tips and Best Practices for Website Accessibility

Businesses should remember several tips and best practices to achieve an accessible website. First, designing for keyboard navigation is crucial, as many people with disabilities rely on a keyboard instead of a mouse to navigate websites. Creating an accessible website is essential for businesses to reach a wider audience and ensure legal compliance.

Digital marketing clients should ensure that all website functions can be accessed using only a keyboard. Additionally, providing alt text for images is essential, as it allows people with visual impairments to understand the content of an image. Using colour contrast appropriately is also crucial, as it can affect readability for people with visual impairments. Several tools and resources are available to help digital marketing clients create accessible websites.

For example, the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) provides extensive guidelines and resources on website accessibility, including the WCAG. There are also accessibility plugins and software available to help identify and fix accessibility issues on websites, such as the Wave Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool and the Axe Accessibility Testing Tool. By utilising these tools and following best practices, digital marketing clients can create accessible websites that reach a wider audience and ensure legal compliance.

Sagittarius and Website Accessibility 

At Sagittarius, we have partnered with accessiBe to assist with our accessibility, accessiBe has two main parts the accessWidget to help achieve compliance, and accessWidget utilises two applications that together achieve compliance: the interface and AI-powered processes. The accessWidget’s interface is a session-based design and UI adjustment tool that makes accessibility. Modifications based on a user’s needs include Font and Colour handling, animations, Audio muting, an on-demand dictionary, and many others to assist with epilepsy and seizure-friendly profile, assistance making the site more ADHD friendly, among many others. All adjustments are compliant with WCAG 2.1 AA requirements. The second part of the application is the accessWidget’s AI machine learning technology uses contextual understanding and computer vision to address the complex back-end requirements for screen reader and keyboard navigation adjustments.

In conclusion, website accessibility is crucial for digital marketing clients to ensure they reach a wider audience, improve customer satisfaction, and avoid legal consequences. By designing for keyboard navigation, providing alt text for images, and using colour contrast appropriately, digital marketing clients can create accessible, inclusive, and easy-to-use websites for all users, including those with disabilities. Additionally, utilising available accessibility tools and resources can help ensure compliance with legal standards and identify and fix accessibility issues. Digital marketing clients need to prioritise accessibility in their website design and development efforts to comply with legal obligations and enhance their brand image and improve their bottom line. By making accessibility a priority, digital marketing clients can reach a wider audience, improve customer satisfaction, and ensure that their websites are inclusive and accessible for all users.

If you’d be interested in finding out how Sagittarius can assist you with your website accessibility and ensure you’re reaching a WCAG 2.1 at the AA Level, including a Web Accessibility Statement on your website, please reach out, and we can arrange a demo. 

About Sagittarius

Sagittarius is an award-winning digital agency that helps brands create high-converting digital experiences. Established in the UK with over 40 years of experience, we’re a multinational team of innovators, visionaries, strategists, and problem solvers who will optimise your web experience and use data-led decisions to power up your CRO, content, and UX. We take a marketing-first approach to our development, baking in performance and measurement to deliver impressive ROI on your technology investment. We specialise in Sitecore as a complete or composable DXP platform and have our own Sitecore Optimisation Consultancy and training academy to empower your people.

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