It’s easy to forget that there is no universal experience for how people browse digital content. Recently, accessibility has been at the forefront of the conversation for web designers and developers. Years of user data and feedback has led us to consider many use cases, like how difficulty distinguishing between colors can cause issues differentiating links from body text, or how clouded vision can make it difficult to see the sides of the screen.
That’s why it’s important to invest time and energy into making all web products more accessible for everyone who interacts with them.
“Around 15% of the global population – over a billion people – lives with some form of disability, of whom 2–4% experience significant difficulties in functioning. Many of these people require assistive technologies such as low-vision devices, wheelchairs or hearing aids. This number is expected to double to 2 billion by 2050.” World Health Organization (2011)
Web accessibility standards in 2021
When designers who don’t have disabilities design online products, it can produce a pleasant experience for some, but an unusable one for others. In 2021, we want to be cognizant of the need for accommodations within web products in order to welcome all users, irrespective of differences. Web accessibility gives all users the opportunity to use online products.
It is nearly impossible for a single individual to experience the web from all perspectives, and that’s where the World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines help. When it comes to making improvements, evaluating the current level of accessibility conformance is the first step to help identify issues and indicate what must be improved to meet the AA-recommended standard.
The product team at Nintex is passionate about ensuring that everyone is able to realize the full benefits of our process management and automation technology. In order to stay up-to-date with the latest accessibility standards, we’ve completed a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) for the Nintex Process Platform, which gives us a benchmark for success.
If you are interested in learning more, you can find the latest VPATs here.
Identifying how to meet compliance standards
After you have had the chance to look at the VPATs and decide to make your web offering more accessible, the next step is to start making a list of what needs to be improved upon and how best to complete the work.
At Nintex, we have identified the accessibility issues across our platform and are in the process of creating a backlog list of items to be improved. One of the biggest updates we are making is to our in-product color palette. We have put efforts into choosing colors that exhibit a suitable level of color contrast so that users with visual impairments can better distinguish between various colors within the Nintex Process Platform. When thinking about a color palette, it is essential to include colors that conform to your chosen accessibility standard’s requirements, or to have a high-contrast mode available to users.
Make change happen
There are a number of great resources available to help with upskilling in the area of web accessibility, such as this free course by the Worldwide Web Consortium (they created the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines), or this free course from Google designed for developers.
It can also be helpful to understand how your product may appear to a person using assistive technology, such as a screen reader. You can get a sense of what their experience may be like by trying it out for yourself, with a screen reader product such as Voiceover for Mac (built-in) or NVDA, (a free open-source product for PC).
Updating products for accessibility compliance is a continual process, and where possible it’s always best to incorporate accessible practices when first building a web offering. Nintex is dedicated to designing with all accommodations in mind and are excited to be making the Nintex platform more accessible for every single customer and partner.