Transforming Digital Experiences: The Role of Section 508 Accessibility

  • 2.06.2023

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    What are digital experiences?

    Digital experiences are interactions between users and organizations providing digital products and services that are made possible through digital technologies. They also refer to users’ interactions with digital touchpoints, whether it is during the purchase of an item online, receiving updates from a mobile application (app), or using a platform.

    It is important to think of the digital experience as a complimentary part of the overall digital property user experience, which allows businesses to be more proactive when it comes to creating personalized experiences that better engage prospective users, satisfy current users, and enhance employee experiences.

    Digital experience platforms help to disseminate content across websites, email, mobile apps, social media platforms, e-commerce sites, Internet of Things (IoT) devices, digital signage, point-of-sale (POS) systems, smart devices, and many others. Beyond simply delivering content for each of these channels, digital experience platforms help to enable marketing automation and develop a consistent digital value that leads users toward clearly defined outcomes.

    Why transform digital experiences?

    User digital touch-points are ever-expanding with the ever-increasing digital property users need. This reality is making the management of digital experiences a difficult task for many digital property owners. Nonetheless, the transformation of digital experiences can help digital property owners engage with new users, differentiate their offerings, and inspire user loyalty.

    When transforming user experiences with your digital properties, you need to understand the user’s journey with using your property, which can begin and end digitally. User digital experiences that begin and end digitally can be continuously transformed toward creating cohesive and contextual digital user experiences that address the ever-dynamic needs of digital property users.

    Different contexts introduce different touchpoints in a user’s digital experience of a digital property, which calls for agility in dealing with any barriers to the user experience so as to maximize the properties’ target audience, stand out from the competition, avoid discrimination of some users, and ensure legal compliance.

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      Tools for transforming digital experiences

      There are a number of tools that can be used to transform digital experiences in ways that benefit both the digital property owner and the property users. These include the digital twin technology, content operations (ContentOps), headless content management systems (CMS), artificial intelligence (AI), cognitive computing, and the customer data platform.

      1. The digital twin

      A digital twin is the electronic or digital representation of a real world, concept, or notion, either physical or perceived. The digital twin is an exciting concept and undoubtedly one of the hottest tech trends right now. It fuses ideas including AI, IoT, the metaverse, and virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR) to create digital models of real-world objects, systems, or processes.

      These models can then be used to adjust variables to study the effect on whatever is being twinned at a fraction of the cost of carrying out experiments in the real world.

      1. Content operations

      ContentOps is an organization’s real infrastructure, including personnel, processes, and technologies that make the organization produce, deploy, and maintain cohesive content across multiple channels.

      For example, well-defined website ContentOps integrates with marketing automation and takes into account authoring environments such as website 508 compliance, inventory, asset management, project management, scheduling, publishing tools, analytics, and reporting, among others.

      With effective website 508 compliant ContentOps, an organization will have a faster and more repeatable process for creating high-quality website content that transforms the digital experiences realized when using the website.

      1. Headless CMS

      A headless content management system (CMS) is a back-end-only web content management system that acts as a primary content repository. It makes content accessible via an API for display on any device without a built-in front end or presentation layer.

      The ability of a headless CMS to deliver content to various channels using APIs gives content creators the tools to easily create content for websites, social media, digital signage, e-commerce, mobile apps, and smart devices.

      By helping organizations or individuals manage content from a unified hub, the headless CMS centralizes content creation and tracks and measures customer engagement across various channels. Section 508 accessibility should be ensured to enlist the engagement of people with disabilities.

      1. AI and cognitive computing

      AI and cognitive computing present a great new way to improve digital experiences for users of digital properties. Leading digital property owners are rapidly deploying business-ready tools that leverage AI to quickly tap into insights and automate campaigns as well as processes, among other things.

      Given that AI systems can see, talk, hear, and learn from their interactions, many digital property owners are engaged in creating AI-powered digital experiences for users of their properties so that using them gives them the feeling of encountering a human.

      Many websites that embrace the need for transformative digital experiences use avatars that respond to user queries and are able to refer users for further assistance. The essence of ensuring 508 compliance website requirements in all these developments should be underscored to ensure that people with disabilities are not left behind in benefiting from these digital experience transformations.

      1. User/customer data platform

      A user data platform or customer data platform is software that collects and unifies customer or user data from multiple sources to build a single, coherent, and complete view of each customer or user that is accessible to other systems. These platforms allow for better understanding of users or customers, comprehending the efficacy of marketing strategies, scheduling marketing automation, and developing personalized user or customer journeys.

      When your user or customer data platforms are Section 508 compliant, it makes the digital experiences associated with your digital property as accessible as in-person experiences.

      1. Section 508 compliance

      The role of Section 508 compliance in transforming digital experiences cannot be overstated. A 508 compliant digital experience ensures that all users, including people with disabilities, are considered.

      So, when transforming the digital experience of your digital product, ask yourself what is the 508 compliant customer data platform, AI and cognitive computing, headless CMS, content operations, or digital twin you will produce at the end so that all users can feel accommodated.

      Need help making your digital experiences Section 508 compliant?

      ADACP can help you assess the accessibility of your digital experiences and assist you in making them Section 508 compliant. Call (626) 486-2201 today so that we can discuss with you the accessibility needs of your digital experiences.