Our SEO and User Experience (UX) practices have helped build a solid foundation for your search engine marketing website. By adding web accessibility standards to your requirements, a new layer of human experience design opens up creative marketing opportunities waiting to be discovered.
Agencies, design teams, and independent contractors tasked with creating a digital presence on the web face pressure to keep up with rapid changes in how websites are designed and searched for.
It’s like being chased by an angry mob of imaginary rivals who somehow have a fancy crystal ball. And unless you work all day and night, someone is going to outsmart you and jump ahead in search results or social chats—or even become the next big brand.
Sometimes, the process of gathering requirements has a way of alleviating concerns. Nobody knows what you want to build and sell better than you.
But sometimes the process of building a foundation opens Pandora’s box.
This article is about what happens when you think your work gathering and planning requirements are complete, or you are looking for new ideas.
Today’s web users want you to meet them on their own turf.
I will visit you every month via Search Engine Journal This year instead of bi-monthly because web access is a topic that readers care about and really need to master to succeed in modern digital marketing. We start this month with:
- Who needs an accessible network?
- Why should you add accessibility to your requirements?
Accessibility guidelines support your organization
Just yesterday, SEO was the king of the mountain. Historically, it had to be the golden egg because the web was there, we were here, and everything in between needed our attention.
Search engines and directories numbered untold thousands when they were free.
It was in our nature, as SEO professionals in those days, to deceive and outmaneuver each other by organizing the data intelligently or building the technology that would do it for us.
Information architecture has maintained SEO. Ease of use quickly showed up in the same puddles by reminding us that people were searching – and people wanted to be satisfied with where the search engines left off for them.
This journey continued until more segments of the world’s population had access to the Internet at home, work and school.
The solid, reliable foundations for maintaining website information structures, conversing politely with search engine bots, and entertaining website visitors are suddenly missing a whole new, unexplored set of requirements called the “human experience.”
I think it is this way.
You may have experienced what it’s like to have your attention drawn away from the road while driving your car for only a brief moment, and find yourself suddenly crossing drawn lines or shuddering away when someone honks you.
The lines drawn are there to guide you as you travel along the way.
Every browser, programming language, and marketing strategy has set guidelines that help maintain some kind of organization and stability on the web. They are our drawn lines.
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) holds the keys to the web world. For inclusive design, accessibility, assistive technology, the mobile web, and upcoming innovative technologies in artificial intelligence, we rely on the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).
In the creative field, guidelines are meant to be broken by those who want to design really cool things without holding back. Parallax, animation, flash, and talking people sliding on web pages are frustrating experiences.
But unless it is challenged, technology will never change. Nor will we be thrilled at the next new search engine, animated avatar, or thoughtful help developed for us to use in our daily lives.
The best way to stay on track for any new website project is to gather requirements and monitor changes to guidelines and technology.
This means that there is no point in resting in your job as an SEO, web designer, digital marketer, agency owner, or UX designer.
High accessibility functionality
Some recent research news in the accessibility industry focuses on the number of ADA lawsuits. While there is no doubt that this is worrisome, that is not why there are business opportunities for accessing the web everywhere.
The need for accessibility improvements is important for people who need access to online education, jobs, banking, shopping, healthcare appointments, and travel activities.
When I do requirements-gathering interviews, the first question is, “Who are you building for?”
Nobody ever said, “People with disabilities.”
Traditionally, people don’t consider people they don’t understand or have no experience with.
Curious companies are asking questions and creating solutions, which in turn has accelerated the job market.
Amazon, Microsoft, IBM, USA Bank, Apple, Google and Adobe are expanding their accessibility departments.
Twitter, Medium, YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook encourage alt text descriptions for images and captions, with podcasts, Zoom, WebEx, and others in hot pursuit with texts.
The beauty of meeting the needs of people who may not be able to see, hear, touch, or remember content without help is that ease of use for them is ease of use for everyone.
Who is your target market?
This is the requirement that will confuse you because there is not a single target human user to design for.
For accessibility, we don’t define our target market or user experience by disability first and person second. Instead, we aim directly at the human experience.
With human experience as a “who,” the gathering your requirements exercise can and should reach beyond limitations.
For search behavior and information architecture, search data is amazing. The information science community produces an astonishing amount of research studies on different approaches to obtaining information and determining if and when it is useful.
in one study, Gender identification on twitterone of the research questions is “Can we easily identify the terms related to each gender?”
As much as you try to struggle to control keywords, search results, competitive knowledge, and social stardom, the ultimate problem is that many discoveries on the web happen by accident or out of meaningful queries.
You may not type “emotions” as a search behavior.
You may not list feelings such as “stress” or “sad” as a user requirement.
Emotions are universal human traits that likely will not arise as a job requirement with a CEO or project leader.
In fact, when it comes to including people with disabilities—or temporary injuries that cause loss of ability, or something as common as poor eyesight or trying to work at home while on painkillers that cause drowsiness—we know someone will tell us to use an overlay or plug-in to catch These use cases.
Overlays attract ADA lawsuits.
requirements for what
At its core, accessibility is a civil right that belongs to the United States under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
The current administration has shifted the Ministry of Justice’s attention to supporting and enforcing the rights of persons with disabilities.
“In late 2021, the Department of Justice settled enforcement actions with Rite Aid Corporation and Hy-Vee Supermarket Chain regarding access to online COVID-19 vaccine registration portals and with the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District regarding access to the COVID-19 vaccine website. Own public transportation and mobile applications.
Why designers and digital marketers find joy in their work can be traced back to many outcomes beyond a weekly salary.
It is really important for the design to work well.
The only way to know without a doubt is to add QA testing as a requirement. Accessibility testing can be added to production sprints and tests with people with different disabilities added for sprints testing.
Emotions and human behavioral responses are difficult to assess, but you can ask for feedback.
Check what prompted customers to buy, for example. What motivates word-of-mouth referrals? Was the production line funny? Intelligent?
Targeting this emotional need can be asking for a “why.”
I know someone who did this in the fourth quarter of 2021 and sold products to her brand new startup. Its productions were based on telling funny stories; The kind that makes readers laugh out loud and fires up PayPal.
Your foundation is as powerful as your imagination.
Today’s demands are layers of proven methodologies and courageous experimentation by companies that aren’t afraid to find out what will help people do more, do better, and do as everyone else does.
And of course, we find ourselves confused by silly things like symbols that look similar in purpose:
Or rebranding that makes no sense at all:
There is no perfect foundation.
It’s a big planet. Someone is waiting for you to build something cool for them.
- Web accessibility for the human experience: when can we help?
- How and why accessibility is important to SEO
- A Beginner’s Guide to ADA Website Accessibility Compliance
Image source: Shutterstock / MIND AND I