Online, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, also known as the WCAG, accommodate users with disabilities as they navigate various websites. These guidelines are international but can be used in an American court of law in tandem with the Americans with Disabilities Act, also known as the ADA. Following these guidelines will prevent compliance lawsuits directed towards your eCommerce business, and will help you connect with a larger potential audience.
Version 2.1 was updated in 2018, to increase the number of recommendations for website owners, designers, and administrators. In court, the burden of proof falls on the defendant in the case of an ADA lawsuit. That’s why you need to be proactive and incorporate these guidelines to remain accessible for people with disabilities.
The WCAG 2.1 has set three tiers for website accessibility. Tier A is the simplest, while AAA is the most complicated in terms of cost and implementation. We recommend aiming for Tier AA, which focuses on enhancing the user experience while maintaining a consistent policy. These three recommendations from Tier AA will make your website more accessible.
Even able-bodied users, don’t want to waste time trying to figure out where to go on a website. This tendency especially applies when they are looking to make a purchase. You don’t want to confuse a customer.
Streamline your navigation, and make sure the arrangement is consistent. Users with disabilities are more likely to stay and research the products or services on your web pages. Organize your headers similarly.
Some users need to read web pages with larger fonts. Resizing can sometimes cause a user to lose functionality or clarity, especially with fancy lettering such as Papyrus.
Troubleshoot your font options, aiming for a serif option rather than a sans-serif text. See if enlarging blogs or category pages still produce legible material. Aim for designating text proportions in percentages rather than pixels, if it’s in your power.
If you have video content, podcasts, or tutorials, you need to account for hearing or visual-impaired users. Accurate subtitles also appeal to users that have attention-deficit disorders that need multiple strategies for gaining knowledge.
Pre-Record your audio descriptions, and fact-check your subtitles, especially for spelling and pronunciation. For the former, if you don’t feel comfortable having an in-house employee doing the recording, outsource to a trusted yet affordable expert on Fiver or Upwork.
At Site Compliance our goal is to help you need ADA and WCAG guidelines for your eCommerce digital storefront. Use the web checker tool to assess your website’s performance, and if you can reach all of your customers. You’ll reduce the likelihood of receiving summons for ADA lawsuits, when you have a tool assessing your store.