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Every $1 invested in UX results in a return of $100 – Forrester
As websites and mobile applications grow in number, User Experience (UX) design is critical to any successful business. According to a Forrester report, every dollar spent on improving UX will have a 100x return! UX design directly influences how users interact with a product or service – impacting their satisfaction, loyalty, and overall brand perception.
However, it’s essential to ensure that UX design caters to a broader audience, including those with disabilities. Part two of our blog series on Accessibility in UX Design covered the best practices for accessible UX design. Here, we will discuss how incorporating accessible UX design into business strategy is not only the right thing to do from a moral and ethical standpoint but is also advantageous in many ways to businesses. Accessible UX design is a win-win for businesses and their customers, making it a wise investment for any company looking to succeed in the digital age.
Many countries have implemented laws and regulations that require businesses to make their digital products and services accessible to people with disabilities.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in the United States, enacted in 1990, is a landmark law prohibiting discrimination against individuals with disabilities, ensuring accessibility in public spaces, employment, and telecommunications.
The European Union’s Web Accessibility Directive mandates member states to make public sector websites and mobile apps accessible, emphasizing a user-centric approach. The European Accessibility Act (EAA) builds on this, requiring a broader range of products and services to be accessible, fostering inclusion across the EU.
In India, the 2016 Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act enhances accessibility in public places, employment, and education, and promotes inclusivity, reflecting a commitment to empower and protect the rights of individuals with disabilities.
Non-compliance can result in legal challenges, fines, and damage to a company’s reputation. A blind plaintiff who, despite shopping at a local Winn-Dixie store in person, faced barriers accessing the store’s website for crucial information. This marked the first trial in the history of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) concerning the accessibility of a public accommodation’s website. The court ruled otherwise despite Winn-Dixie’s attempt to dismiss the suit, arguing that Title III of the ADA does not cover a website.
By proactively incorporating accessible design principles, businesses can avoid legal issues and protect their brand from negative publicity.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is crucial to any online business strategy. Accessible design practices can improve your website’s SEO performance. Search engines like Google prioritize websites with better user experiences, and accessibility features can contribute to this by ensuring that your site is more user-friendly and ranks higher in search results. This can drive more organic traffic to your website and boost online visibility.
Innovation and Creativity
Accessibility challenges often drive innovation and creativity in UX design. When designers are tasked with making their products accessible to everyone, they develop creative solutions that can benefit all users. These innovations can lead to breakthroughs in design and technology, setting your business apart from competitors and positioning you as an industry leader. For instance, Apple showcases how its commitment to accessibility led to the development of innovative features that benefit all users, such as VoiceOver on iPhone.
Expanded Market Reach
By incorporating accessibility features, you can make your products and services available to a wider audience. According to the World Health Organization, approximately 15% of the world’s population lives with some form of disability. Businesses can tap into this significant market segment by providing accessible experiences. When people with disabilities can easily access and use your website or application, they are more likely to engage with your brand, increasing your potential customer base.
Enhanced Brand Reputation
Accessible UX design demonstrates a commitment to inclusivity and equality, which can significantly enhance your brand’s reputation. When businesses prioritize accessibility, they send a positive message about their values and priorities. Customers appreciate this commitment to social responsibility, and it can lead to increased brand loyalty and positive word-of-mouth marketing. Barclays demonstrates how its focus on accessibility has enhanced its brand reputation and resulted in a more inclusive workplace.
Better Conversion Rates
An accessible UX design can directly impact your conversion rates. By removing barriers and making it easier for users to access and use your products or services, you can increase the likelihood of users converting from visitors to customers. This translates into higher revenue and better Return on Investment (RoI) for your business.
“This American Life,” a widely broadcast show on over 500 National Public Radio (NPR) stations, committed to creating transcripts for their entire archive in response to new FCC regulations in 2011. A study using Google Analytics over more than a year found that 7.23% of visitors viewed transcripts, unique visitors increased by 4.18%, and new inbound links to transcripts contributed to a 3.89% rise.
Increased User Engagement
An accessible UX design can lead to increased user engagement. When people can navigate and interact with your digital platforms more easily, they are more likely to stay longer, explore more content, and complete desired actions such as making purchases or signing up for newsletters. The overall user experience is enhanced, resulting in more satisfied and engaged users.
Accessible UX design isn’t just a short-term trend but a long-term strategy ensuring your digital products remain relevant and sustainable. As demographics change and people age, accessibility becomes even more critical. Implementing accessibility features early on future-proofs your business and ensures that products remain usable by a broad range of users over time.
The next part of this blog series will be about Accessibility for Different Types of Disabilities.
The UNBOX team is the UX COE at GS Lab | GAVS. The team focuses on the big picture while staying tuned to evolving trends, technologies, and human behavior. With about two decades of product engineering expertise, GS Lab | GAVS delivers best-in-class user experiences that drive product acceptance. To learn more about our User Experience Design services, please visit https://www.gslab.com/user-experience-design/.