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At the end of 2016 the BBC reported that retailers could be "missing out on £249bn because many are inaccessible to disabled customers".
But what about the digital high street?
It is imperative that accessibility considerations are integrated at each stage of a project's lifecycle, and are not treated as an arbitrary exercise.
But why is that, and what happens if they aren't?
The best responsive designs come with good, considered typography.
As far as I am concerned, there are two factors for great typography. The first one is personality, the second one is semantic.
Accessibility is an important topic in web design, but one that previously hasn't been covered on the Econsultancy blog.
To rectify this omission, I'll be writing a series of posts exploring how to make your websites more accessible from the outset.
In this first post we’ll look at creating a design that people with visual impairments will hopefully find easy to use.
You would not knowingly ignore 80% of the online market in the UK, would you?
Yet many websites, generally designed by younger people, forget that older consumers may not share their abilities or tastes. So their websites probably don't work as well as they should for the growing army of silver surfers.
However, designing to cater for the aging population is not always straightforward. Last year, Econsultancy’s David Moth spelt out six sensible tips ranging from increasing the font size to avoiding major navigation changes.
As a senior facing yet another birthday (is it really a year since the last one?) I have six more tips to help younger designers appeal to that increasingly wealthy post-kids generation with time and money on its hands.
Today is Global Accessibility Awareness Day, an initiative to get people to talk, think and learn about digital accessibility.
So why not try out these five steps to see how well your site is meeting the accessibility requirements?
iWonder is the evocative name for the BBC’s new interactive guides. The name conjures childlike enquiry (I wonder!), ‘90s crisps (Golden Wonder) and fits nicely with the Beeb’s and Apple’s use of the stunted ‘iProductname’ format.
The guides are the BBC’s new content format, described as 'sit forward', allowing the user to learn by doing.
They organise video and audio, infographics, text and activities into stories.
I’ve been having a play with the guides and given some brief thoughts below. Do go and check them out, they’re a powerful tool for schoolchildren or older autodidacts.
Nearly twelve million people in the UK have a limiting long-term illness, impairment or disability.
Ofcom recently published its Disabled Consumers’ Ownership of Communications Services Report, which reveals younger disabled people now have roughly the same level of internet access as the non-disabled.
What are the common mistakes of accessibility and what does the landscape look like for disabled consumers' access to the web?
My last blog for Econsultancy aimed to dispel the myth that accessible websites must compromise on aesthetics.
It elicited quite a response with many readers agreeing and a number asking for examples of sites that combine both elements.
Before I point you in the direction of two websites that are both highly accessible and attractively designed, it’s important to remember that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Furthermore, the aesthetics is the result of the final product. When broken down into its components the beauty is difficult to see. It’s only when those parts all come together that the beauty is evident.
Fifteen years after the Web Accessibility Initiative was launched, which aimed to improve web usability for those with disabilities, online accessibility is still widely ignored.
Far too often there is a belief that a compromise must be made between accessibility and an attractive design.
As a result, a myriad of misconceptions have emerged, often preventing people from making a determined effort to integrate accessibility into their websites.
There are some very simple techniques that digital marketers can use to check how accessible their communications are to people with disabilities, so I was rather surprised to receive this email from Amazon:
The press release announcing Four Season’s new site states that it was "thoughtfully designed...to deliver an immersive and effortless experience tailored to every user".
But shouldn't that include disabled users?
The Four Seasons site review focusing on web usability highlighted some important shortcomings in terms of the booking process and other areas, and briefly mentioned some of the accessibility issues.
Here we take a closer look at some of these and the actions that should have been taken to truly make the site available and usable to every user.