5 ways to maintain accessible experiences online

Congratulations if your web experience is accessible to all audiences. Don't stop now, here are five ways to make sure it stays that way:

  1. Make sure that future updates to the experience assessed for accessibility compliance in every phase (wireframe, design, development, and production).
    • It happens too often that we create an accessible experience and then let it slowly become inaccessible as errors are introduced in future phases.

  2. Name accessibility owners for each domain.
    • Part of avoiding the deterioration of the accessibility of the experience is to have accountable owners in place for every aspect of the project -- the user experience design, the visual design, and the code
    • Owners need to know they are owners and agree to be accountable for accessibility. They also need to be given the time and resources to provide this governance.
  3. Be aware of introducing content issues (e.g. “Learn more” links, images with no alt attribute).
    • Often the review stage is skipped for "simple" content updates. Never skip a review! It is possible to introduce accessibility issues through content updates alone.
  4. Conduct periodic (quarterly) high level accessibility audits on the entire site.
    • High level audits can cover the web experience's "happy paths", which are the paths the majority of users need to take (e.g. path to purchase, registration/sign in).
  5. Ideally, have power users of assistive devices audit the site. Often these are users with some kind of visual, auditory, or mobility challenge.
    • If you have a power screen reader user on your team, that person will be in a position to check the experience regularly as part of their daily work. This is a great boon to maintaining accessibility.

Add a comment if there are additional processes you have found helpful for maintaining accessible experiences.

6 thoughts on “5 ways to maintain accessible experiences online

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