Data suggests that close to fifteen percent of the world’s population live with some form of disability or another. This is a significant number to not account for when digital solutions are engineered. Strategic Accessibility Testing and re-engineering based on results from the same, has been rising in popularity in recent times. Herein, strategic accessibility testing is one where the core user facing pages or elements of the solution are identified for a first round of testing. Typically, for an application of average complexity this effort is completed anywhere between three to four weeks. These defects are then triaged and prioritized for a round of fixes, which then come in for a second round of regression testing. Even if an organization has not made any effort towards digital accessibility, this approach gets them to a good stand on the road to making solutions accessible for one and all. In our experience, applications that have had only about 30-40% accessibility compliance, have sometimes even been taken to a high score of 90+% compliance. Achieving 100% is almost not possible, unless compromises at a UI level can be brought in, which may impact regular users too. However, this near perfect score is totally achievable, with the right e2e digital accessibility solution.
Why is this rise in popularity in digital accessibility in recent times? There is a lot of push and pull happening in the accessibility sector. On one hand federal mandates especially in countries such as the USA, Canada, UK are bringing in rigor in embracing engineering solutions for all, including the differently abled. On the other hand, the demand from users are also on the rise. Accessibility is not just about people who are differently abled today. The current aging population is extremely digitally savvy compared to our parents and grandparents. We will soon require solutions that are engineered for digital accessibility. Herein, domains that have a heavy user interface especially ones such as Travel, Banking, Social Networking need to cater more to digital accessibility given the usage patterns encompassing a range of users. Accessibility of Travel apps, travel solutions, pages of services providers is becoming inevitable given the growth in the travel domain and consumption of travel solutions digitally. Travel domain is a large consumer in leveraging new technologies including AR, VR (Solutions such as Rizort are a good example here), AI, and with all of these, even realistic travel experiences are provided digitally. Users, including differently abled, are able to make independent and informed travel choices, with the information available digitally, and for which ensuring e2e accessibility is key. Such being the heavy connect between the travel domain and digital solutions, strategic accessibility testing and re-engineering is critical for this domain than any other. Expedia herein is a great example of an organization that continues to invest in digital accessibility in the travel domain with ongoing investments to improve user experience.
As more domains play catch in the drive to accessibility, travel domain will already be ahead and serve as a good precedence for the others to follow suit.