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How UX makes your digital product WCAG compliant

September 2023

In 2025, you are obliged by law to make your digital content accessible according to the WCAG 2.2 guidelines. This article explains how good UX will keep you out of prison.

What is WCAG 2.2?

WCAG 2.2 stands for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.2, designed to make websites and digital content more accessible to people with various disabilities. Ranging from colour blindness to fysical limitations to dyslexia. Either permanent or temporary.

The guidelines are defined in these categories:

  • Perceivable
  • Operable
  • Understandable
  • Robust

It is not only an ethical obligation but can also enhance your business opportunities, improve your image, and help you stay in compliance with the law.

Why should I comply anyway?

Many UX designers have been working along these guidelines for a long time already. However, with an aging population the urgency for digital assistance is growing and becoming mandatory. Here are some more reasons why it's important for your business to comply with these requirements:

  1. First of all... it is the law. Many countries, including the United States and various European countries, have enacted laws and regulations requiring businesses to make their digital content accessible to people with disabilities. If your website or application doesn't comply with these requirements, you risk legal issues and fines.

  2. Expanding the Audience: By meeting WCAG 2.2 requirements, you broaden your audience. People with different disabilities, such as visual, auditory, motor, or cognitive impairments, need access to your website to find information, purchase products, or use services. By providing accessibility, you increase your potential customer base.

  3. Positive Image: Companies committed to accessibility demonstrate social responsibility and empathy. This can create a positive image and attract customers who value inclusivity and equal opportunities.

  4. Competitive Advantage: By making your website accessible, you differentiate yourself from competitors who do not. It can provide a competitive edge and attract customers who prefer accessible online experiences. Especially in the government sector.

  5. Future-Proofing: Complying with accessibility standards ensures that your website is ready for the future. As the population ages, the demand for accessible digital content will only increase.

"Around 1 in 5 people in Europe has some kind of limitation when interacting with digital content."

How is UX going to help you?

User Experience (UX) design / digital product design play crucial roles in ensuring that your digital product complies with WCAG 2.2 :

  1. Incorporating Accessibility from the Start: UX designers and digital product designers can embed accessibility principles into the initial design process. By considering accessibility from the beginning, you can avoid costly re-work later in the development process.

  2. User-Centered Design: UX design revolves around understanding and addressing user needs. Digital product designers can conduct user research to identify the needs of individuals with disabilities, creating personas and scenarios that represent these users. This information guides design decisions to ensure that the product is inclusive and accessible to a wide range of users.

  3. Clear Navigation and Information Hierarchy: A fundamental aspect of accessibility is providing clear and intuitive navigation. UX designers can structure the information and layout in a way that makes it easy for all users, including those using assistive technologies, to find what they need quickly and efficiently.

  4. Typography and Readability: Designers can choose fonts and text sizes that are legible, even for individuals with visual impairments. Additionally, they can ensure proper colour contrast to make text and important elements stand out, which is critical for users with low vision.

  5. Focus on Interaction Design: UX designers play a significant role in defining how users interact with a digital product. They can ensure that interactive elements (buttons, forms, menus, etc.) are keyboard accessible, which is essential for individuals who rely on keyboard navigation or screen readers.

  6. Testing and Iteration: User testing is a key component of both UX and digital product design. By involving individuals with disabilities in usability testing, designers can identify issues and make necessary adjustments to improve accessibility. This iterative process helps refine the product's accessibility over time.

  7. Responsive Design: Designers can ensure that the digital product is responsive and adapts to various screen sizes and devices. This flexibility is especially important for users who may use different devices or assistive technologies to access the content.

  8. Use of ARIA (Accessible Rich Internet Applications) Roles: UX and product designers can work with developers to implement ARIA roles and attributes when necessary. ARIA helps enhance the accessibility of complex web applications and dynamic content.

Need help on this?

Are you curious how UX will help your custom software production to be compliant with WCAG 2.2 and be cutting edge? Don’t hesitate to talk to us.

___Let’s talk about your next challenge!

+31 (0)10-452 1800

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