The function of Section 508 in Developing Customer Credibility and Trust
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A visually impaired user was unable to order pizza from Domino’s mobile app. There were accessibility barriers including incompatible screen reader functionality. So the user decided to file a lawsuit. The accessibility lawsuit impacted the reputation of the brand and resulted in negative media coverage and a huge loss of trust among customers.
Within a month, Domino’s lawsuit was shared over 200,000 times on social media. The brand faced online criticism and negative reviews. Due to the vast media coverage, users learned about the lack of accessibility at Domino’s.
In this digitally driven world, reaching a vast audience is not difficult, what’s more challenging is to address the accessibility barriers. Investing in a 508 compliant website is therefore essential to thrive.
Negative publicity results in potential loss of business, on the other hand, investing in digital accessibility can influence the target audience. In today’s post, we discuss how to create inclusive online experiences through section 508 accessibility and eventually contribute to customer credibility.
In 1998, Section 508 was added to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. It is a federal law that mandates equal access to electronic and information technology products. According to the law, all federal agencies in the United States must make websites, software, and other electronic resources usable by individuals with a disability. The technical standards outlined were designed to ensure that users with various impairments, such as visual, auditory, cognitive, and motor disabilities get equivalent access to ICT (Information and communication technology) offerings.
Although the law was made for federal level procurement, almost every business organization adheres to the accessibility standards and guidelines related to Section 508. They publish a VPAT (voluntary product accessibility template) to report their conformance.
With this conformance report, a business focuses on the best strategy for ICT accessibility. For instance, they show their commitment to accessibility through audits and remediation. The inclusivity efforts result in legal compliance, improved market reach, enhanced user experience and strong trust among customers.
Positive feedback reaches a vast audience. In this digitally inclined world, indeed every brand aims for a reputation where customers express their delight on social media.
Customers are more likely to trust a brand that ensures accessibility. These customers saw the brand’s efforts as a genuine sign of caring about all customers. Hence, users with a disability provide positive word-of-mouth and online testimonials. Consequently, the business gets the reputation of a customer-centric brand.
Some easy to understand examples of trust building can be clear headings, well-structured content and alternative text for images.
A loyal customer base and positive brand reputation stem from user-friendly experience. For positive perception among the customers, all you need is an accessible website. There are several benefits of conforming toSection 508 compliance. When you provide equal access, you promote inclusivity and respect toward all customers.
Well-structured website design creates a seamless user experience and generates positive feedback. Showcasing your commitment to legal obligations even results in increased customer credibility. Customers prefer socially conscious brands. It is reported that 64% of consumers consider a brand’s values and ethics before making a purchase decision.
To put it simply, if you invest in a well-structured website with clear headings and compatible screen reader functionality, you encourage customers to trust your brand.
Making digital resources accessible showcases your efforts for positive user experience. For this purpose, you need to invest in accessibility testing. In this process, digital products and services are evaluated based on the accessibility standards outlined in Section 508 or the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act). Here the key priority is to identify and address accessibility barriers of the published digital content.
Here are the typical steps that ensure digital accessibility and eventually customer credibility.
Evaluation of accessibility standards: The website content is tested based on the accessibility standards such as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) or the Section 508 Standards. These guidelines basically cover the aspects of website navigation, keyboard accessibility, use of alternative text for images, color contrast, video and audio captions, and more.
Manual Testing: Accessibility audits are conducted where professionals test the digital content through assistive technologies. Testers use screen readers, voice recognition software, or keyboard-only navigation to identify any usability issues.
Automated Testing: A quick approach to customer credibility can be automated testing tools which are specifically designed for Section 508 accessibility testing.
While automated tools can identify certain issues, they may not catch all accessibility barriers, so manual testing is essential to complement automated results.
User Testing: You may also opt for direct feedback on the user experience through user testing. It can be done by experienced audit specialists who identify real-world challenges faced by people with disabilities and provide valuable insights on areas of improvement.
Remediation: Based on the results of accessibility audits, developers work to fix identified issues. Then they suggest implementing accessibility best practices and making adjustments to the digital content to ensure compliance with accessibility standards.
Updates and accessibility refresh: Section 508 testing is an ongoing process, as websites and applications are continually updated and new content is added. Regular testing is crucial to maintaining accessibility compliance. To ensure a positive user experience for all users, section 508 testing and VPAT reporting become crucial once a year or after every major update.
ADA and Section 508 testing address accessibility issues, which help organizations to create inclusive digital experiences. By demonstrating your commitment to accessibility, you comply with legal requirements and reach a broader audience.
For improved overall user satisfaction and a positive brand perception connect with the audit specialist at ADACP. With the help of our compliance testing services, you can make a difference for people with disabilities and show your commitment to equality. Contact us now and create an inclusive digital experience for all.