Tech & Engineering

7 reasons why you should prioritize web accessibility in 2023 and beyond

Written by Michael Vromans on 10, Auth 2023

Just 3% – that's how much of the internet today is accessible to people with disabilities.

One would think making the digital world more inclusive and accessible for everyone regardless of ability would be the standard, but it's still not the case.

We’re living in a world where we have the incredible power of technology at our fingertips, ready to transform the lives of everyone. When crafting digital experiences, it’s easy to chase the newest and the latest technologies at the cost of neglecting the existing technologies and best practices that greatly benefit all. Don’t get me wrong, designing for diversity is not a walk in the park. But is not designing it at all the way to go about it?

In 1997, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Director and inventor of the World Wide Web emphasized the web’s power lies in its universality, and stated; 

Access by everyone regardless of disability is an essential aspect.

- Tim Berners-Lee

The web is inherently designed to work for anyone from all walks of life, whatever their location, language, or ability.

Your website is one of the most important touchpoints of your digital experience and putting accessibility at its core should not simply be an after-thought. Whether you are in B2B or B2C, in today's digital age, digital accessibility has become an increasingly essential consideration for leading brands across all industries.

Prioritizing good accessibility isn't just the right thing to do for everyone, it's also the right thing to do for your business. Building a brand that truly includes everyone is definitely a commitment and nothing to be taken lightly, but the benefits of investing in one are tremendous. Let me break these down for you;

1. Making the digital world more inclusive

An inclusive digital experience may not be the norm in 2023, but it will be soon as there is a rising awareness of the importance of web accessibility. Greater brands will be the ones who successfully incorporate accessibility into their core message and experiences they build. This will define their legacy. 

Digital accessibility changes lives, and as a brand, positively impacting someone's life is invaluable. Even making a small difference in one person's world is significant. Take Apple and Samsung, for example. They added a feature to their models for one-handed use, which would have been a game-changer for someone who suffered an aneurysm and lost mobility. But while the feature was exciting, many websites didn't accommodate it, leaving them frustrated and disappointed. Designing digital experiences with inclusivity in mind would have made their life easier and them more independent.

By being an example, you have the power to inspire other companies to follow suit. Working together towards a better and more inclusive tomorrow has shown remarkable progress for society time and time again.

2. Improving brand loyalty and brand image 

In today’s saturated market, customers are spoiled for choice, with countless brands vying for their attention. They are naturally drawn to those that are authentic, memorable, and resonate with them on an emotional level.

Accessibility creates a sense of belonging and inclusivity, fostering loyalty and trust. This can enhance your brand's image and reputation, sending a message to your customers that you care about their needs. 

Disability significantly touches the lives of 73% of customers, shaping their experiences and influencing their purchasing decisions. These individuals can become your brand’s dedicated advocates, by sharing their positive experiences with their network.

You can earn their trust and be seen as reliable by meeting their needs and expectations. They won't look elsewhere when they know you care about them and offer an enjoyable and seamless experience unlike anywhere else. Being the pioneer among your competitors to develop an inclusive and accessible website will set you up as the standard in your industry and differentiate your brand

3. A great customer experience (CX) is for the win 

The secret is out, everyone knows how important CX is for brand growth and differentiation. CX is essentially your customers’ perception of their experience with your brand. It communicates why you are in business, who you are, what you stand for, and how you are different compared to all those other brands out there. It’s a combination of your unique brand identity, innovative products, and engaging content.

Web accessibility is not merely compliance, but key to innovation and maximized CX. Accessibility keeps customers at the beating heart of CX. It offers the opportunity to reimagine your approach from the ground up and explore innovative ways to connect with all of your valued customers and ultimately strengthen your CX. By building a strong connection with your customers, you create brand loyalty, drive conversions, and gain a competitive advantage.

A great testament to an inclusive CX is the industry-wide platform our team developed for De Koninklijke Nederlandse Maatschappij ter bevordering der Pharmacie (KNMP) or the Royal Dutch Pharmacy Association in English. is an initiative of KNMP and offers accurate, up-to-date, and practical medical information to diverse users, which meant designing with inclusivity in mind was important. Combining exceptional design with web-accessibility features, we built an elevated digital customer experience that resulted in getting 1.7 million monthly website visitors and ranked the number 1 medicine platform in the Netherlands. On top of that, the platform has been named the best pharmaceutical website for four consecutive years. 

What does it take to craft a great CX?

Learn here

4. Playing the SEO game 

SEO is a vital part of a website. It ensures better online visibility, website traffic, and reliability. If search engines can’t find you, how will your customers? Incorporating web accessibility improves SEO. While it’s not directly monitored yet, user experience (UX) and engagement are. The Bureau of Internet Accessibility confirms that this does play a role in search engine rankings. 

Accessibility and a good UX go hand-in-hand with search engines. Accessible design improves the all-around user experience and satisfaction. The better experience, the more user engagement, which will significantly improve your website ranking. Think of it as a snowball effect. It’ll only get bigger from here. So not only does this benefit users but also boosts your website's performance. It's a real win-win if you ask me. 

5. Time to grow an audience

The accessibility market alone encompasses a staggering 5.25 billion people – more than half of the world’s population. With an ever-growing aging population, Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) conscious buyers are contributing to this figure every day. 

With their immense purchasing power and influence, overlooking such a significant portion of this demographic is simply not an option. Today, smart brands know an accessible digital experience is not a choice, but rather a must for improving diversity and inclusion impact, increasing market share, and complying with European Union (EU) and American laws.

Adopting accessibility not only expands your audience but also enhances your bottom line, making it a pivotal strategy for business growth.

6. The reality of legal implications

Every country and region has different laws and regulations around web accessibility and a business's role in that. By crafting accessibility-first experiences, you ensure that your brand complies with the legal requirements and avoids potential lawsuits.  

Even the best-known brands aren’t invulnerable to lawsuits. In 2016, a blind man successfully sued Domino’s Pizza for violating the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act after he was unable to order a pizza from Domino’s mobile app despite using his phone's screen-reading software. Domino's chose to escalate the lower court's decision and bring it to the supreme court but they were denied. 

The web has come a long way since 2019 when Domino’s decided to still not acknowledge its lack of accessibility in their digital experiences. That does not mean the number of cases against digitally inaccessible experiences isn’t continuously increasing, because it is and shows no signs of stopping. 

It serves as a reminder that we must challenge our perspective and reshape our mindset to put inclusivity at the forefront of our digital initiatives. Only then, we can forge a path toward a truly inclusive digital experience that leaves no one and no money behind. With the EU Accessibility Act becoming fully enforced by 2025, taking action now is critical.

7. Bring on the social responsibility 

Accessibility and inclusion go beyond ethical and legal obligations, they’re also avenues for business opportunities and competitive advantages. In today's ever-evolving business landscape, the importance of the ESG framework is on the rise, as stakeholders and investors use this as a metric to measure a brand's sustainability and ethical initiatives. 

Digital accessibility significantly influences ESG scores, as it fosters social inclusivity, ensures compliance with legal requirements and industry standards, and lowers the environmental carbon footprint by reducing the need for printed resources. 

When you prioritize this as a key component of your ESG strategy, you can demonstrate your dedication to being an environmentally socially responsible, and ethical organization that values diversity and inclusion that stakeholders are looking for. And of course, ultimately, you can create long-term value for all stakeholders while contributing to a more sustainable and inclusive world. 

While this is a great benefit, recognizing the significance of digital accessibility still needs to come from a good place, and not only be done for monetary purposes. More often than not, brands fall into greenwashing habits and be spurious by their customers as they can see through the brand’s facade.

Embracing a good accessibility strategy isn't just the right thing to do, it opens up a world of possibilities and business growth opportunities and ultimately makes the digital world a more inclusive place for everyone.

Yet, there is still so much to do to achieve exciting and engaging accessibility for all. We cannot just focus on providing the bare minimum. We need to look toward creating captivating experiences for people with and without disabilities. Here is where the future of design, accessibility, and progress meet. Will you be the pioneer who defines a digital future without barriers or will you be the one who hides from it? There’s no better time to get to work than now. 

Let’s shake things up a bit and rethink how we see digital accessibility. 

Michael Vromans
Chief Creative Officer

Michael Vromans

Chief Creative Officer

Need help building a website with web accessibility features?

Contact Michael