Consideration of the User Experience (UX) should be a crucial part of any design team’s road to launch, especially if the goal is to deliver a reading experience that is beneficial to all users. Digital accessibility and usability are vital factors in ensuring that a user can interact with content, delivering the same level of experience to everyone, regardless of their ability.
Being able to deliver a complete, satisfying and inclusive user experience should be integral to your organization’s content strategy where a focus on planning, creation, delivery, and governance of that content is paramount. The overarching benefits of an accessible user experience have significant advantages both for the reader and for your business and you should take action now to ensure that you are doing the right thing for your organization and your customers.
Banks, education institutions, and many other organizations are increasingly prioritizing accessibility initiatives in response to the growing demand for them in the digital space (in addition to legal requirements in many markets). Providing an accessible UX for customers and satisfying all of their access requirements is of the utmost importance.
For many this includes being able to access content with assistive technology (such as a screen reader). Having an understanding of how these technologies affect the UX is a great way to start the transformation of your content into something meaningful, useful for all and accessible.
There are many business benefits to providing an accessible user experience, not least that it’s the right thing to do. These include:
- Connecting with a larger audience. Approximately one billion people in the world, or 15% of the world’s population, experience some form of disability. Organizations are able to expand their audience by making sure that their content is accessible to all markets – a sure way for companies to increase profitability, and be able to grow their share of the market too.
- Minimizing legal risks and ensuring compliance with accessibility standards. There are quite a few laws and regulations in place to address accessibility. Creating an accessible user experience will help an organization meet Section 508, ADA, AODA, WCAG 2.0 and other compliance standards.
- Strengthening the organization’s brand and creating a strong sense of purpose. Many companies set out to create meaningful connections with their audience via an accessible user experience. This strengthens the company brand and contributes to ESG initiatives, in turn increasing the likelihood of attracting new ethically-driven users.
Companies looking to create accessible digital communications or documents can utilize solutions that convert content into an accessible format for those with disabilities, enabling access to content with feature parity.
Transforming the UX
There are a number of areas to consider in order to improve the UX you are delivering, not least making sure that your content is well structured and discoverable. Content that has a meaningful structure allows for full navigation and this, like many accessibility features, benefits all readers and gives everyone a richer experience. Users who rely on assistive technology to access content need a clear navigable structure that screen readers and other technologies can make sense of.
Treatment of images within the content is also crucial to the UX and supplying relevant alt text to accompany graphics will mean that print-disabled readers can learn and experience the image in the same way as everyone else. Your treatment of images and richer content will define how accessible your content is and whether the UX delivers.
These are just two areas that need consideration when thinking about delivering an accessible UX. InclusiveDocs has developed an innovative approach to delivering a complete user experience, offering a streamlined, cost-efficient alternative to manual remediation processes. The AI technology within the platform helps to build models adapted from the content, resulting in automated workflows, significant cost savings, and a consistent user experience. Accessibility feature options allow readers to display or access information specific to their user requirements.
Transforming the UX allows organizations to reach their entire audience.
This article was prepared in collaboration with InclusiveDocs. InclusiveDocs offers conversion solutions for multiple forms of accessible documents, including EPUB and HTML, with added features such as text-to-speech. End-users can access content from any device connected to the internet, or read offline via fully accessible EPUBs. This solution is suitable for all organizations that publish digital content and want to make it accessible to all members of their audience.