Website Designs for Your Business
Designing your own business website takes time and some technical aptitude. That’s why many business owners hire someone else to do their web design. But finding the right design agency for your needs can be confusing.
When designing a website, there are several things to consider– your domain and host, CMS (Content Management System), the design, and functionality. In addition, there is another essential feature – ease of navigation.
Design agencies keep those features in mind when helping businesses build their websites. However, when it comes to navigation, they must also keep in mind ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliance.
Web accessibility for the everyday user can be very different from that of a user with a disability.
Looking at a screen and reading the content, using a mouse or keyboard with little thought, and fully comprehending navigation icons are tasks many of us do easily.
Yet there are about 61 million Americans living with disabilities, which accounts for about 26% of our population. These disabilities range from vision and hearing impairments to intellectual and motor disabilities.
What Is Web Accessibility?
The community of people with various disabilities often has difficulty navigating traditional websites–websites designed for a population of people without these disabilities.
A growing awareness of the need for more digital accessibility has driven more companies to become more inclusive in their web design.
Under Title II of the ADA, 508 standards and the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) are used to spell out the standards to which websites should comply. Listen to this video for a better description: ADA Website Compliance and WCAG Checklist (Lawyer Approved)
How Are Design Agencies Solving the Problem?
A web design agency, Mythic Design Company, has partnered with a leading web accessibility company, accessiBe, to ensure that their designs are navigable to all users.
This new partnership will allow clients to expand their services to users of all abilities. By creating more inclusive and accessible websites, these businesses will work to eradicate the digital barriers people with disabilities would typically encounter.
ADA and WCAG compliance will be at the forefront of their web design.
An accessibility interface utilizes the accessWidget tool, which does UI and design-related adjustments, while AI-powered algorithms handle the complex requirements - optimization for screen readers and keyboard navigation.
AI-powered services include several features. For example, Mythic Design Agency can now give their clients access to features such as accessWidget, which is updated every 24 hours without disrupting any current functions.
With access to the accessWidget feature, Mythic Design Agency’s clients can be confident that their websites are usable by people of differing abilities. Websites can now use accommodative features such as:
- Dark contrast and readable fonts for users with vision impairments.
- Seizure-safe profiles that avoid flashing images and color combinations could trigger seizures.
- ADHD-friendly profiles that decrease images and noises that can be distracting.
- Easy keyboard navigation for those with motor disabilities
- Screen readers for blind users and those with cognitive disabilities
Can a Website Be 100% Compliant?
As AI advances, it becomes more accurate. For example, for those with visual impairments, it can describe images on the screen with a screen reader.
Tools like accessWidget, meet the users’ accessibility needs with session-based UI adjustments. By using the interface, users can customize your website according to their individual accessibility needs.
Additionally, facial recognition can be used for password protection. A person with a visual impairment doesn't have to type in a strong password or use a CAPTCHA code, two tasks that can be onerous.
Since the community of people with disabilities is one with diverse strengths and needs, it would be an overwhelming endeavor for humans to predict all accessibility needs. AI is designed to locate accessibility issues and to do so quickly and efficiently.
Web design agencies that understand Section 508 and 508 refresh standards know that websites need to be accessible to all persons for ethical reasons alone. But there are legal reasons that your business website needs to be user-friendly to all people as well.
Tim Berners-Lee, who created the World Wide Web, understood how this was a whole new environment. This led him to also found the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).
Its goal is to “make the web a better place for all.” To achieve that goal, they established the Web Accessibility Initiative in 1997.
Is W3C a Legal Requirement?
W3C is an international community that has helped develop the standards for World Wide Web accessibility. They have helped establish rules, protocols, and standards to make the internet accessible to everyone.
W3C is responsible for forming the WCAG standards. While these standards are not “codified law,” they remain standards that have been used in many courts around the world to win lawsuits over web inaccessibility.
Mythic’s partnership with accessiBe allows them to design websites for their clients that are available to everyone while achieving compliance with W3C. Clients can be assured that any legal risks involved with digital accessibility will be mitigated.
Why Should Business Websites be Accessible?
Something that businesses may not realize is that, by creating an equitable and inclusive website, they will be increasing their reach and their profits.
While 61 million Americans have some type of disability, and 62% of them own computers, they comprise a sizable demographic. However, there are obstacles for many of these people to access websites.
By designing a website that includes this population, more people will be able to do business with your company. And it enables companies to be ethically responsible, legally compliant, and business savvy.
Partnering With Purpose
Design agencies like Mythic Design Agency understand how important it is for their clients to create user-friendly, equitable, and accessible, inclusive websites.
By partnering with companies like accessiBe, they can bring that mission of inclusivity to an underserved customer base.
How Do I Know My Website is Accessible to All Users?
AccessiBe works with a disability partner team called the Unstoppables. This group of extraordinary people with different disabilities serves to build awareness for the disabled community and provide insight into their differing accessibility needs.
People with disabilities are the most critical stakeholders in promoting digital accessibility.
In addition to employing people with disabilities and partnering with these professionals, accessiBe offers a testing program in which those with disabilities can test out your website.
Is Partnering With a Web Accessibility Company Worth It?
Through accessiBe’s partner program, digital agencies, eCommerce builders, hosting services, freelance marketers, and developers– along with many other partners– can obtain a partner account, which offers several benefits.
- 20% partnership commission
- Partnership discount
- Your website is covered with a free license.
- Whitelabel options
The partner program equips businesses and freelancers with the tools to ensure compliance with all ADA, W3C, 508, and WCAG laws.
Businesses and individuals have become increasingly more aware of the need for inclusivity in all areas of life. Since our lives are evermore digital–from Siri and Alexa to YouTube and eCommerce– building user-friendly websites just makes sense.
Assistive technology comes in many forms. Wheelchairs, text-to-speech, grab bars, and screen readers are all considered assistive technology. Building that into your business website helps to create an independent and user-friendly experience for all.
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