Design

Web accessibility – Why does it matter?

May 20, 2014

We’ve been working hard to redesign the new telus.com, to create an intuitive experience and ensure the site’s content is simple and easy to understand. Traffic is high and still climbing but now, how do we ensure everyone is able to navigate and interact with telus.com?

Not everyone experiences websites in the same way. Browsing the web on different screen sizes is a hot topic, but it’s not just mobile users who experience websites differently. Users with disabilities such as low vision, blindness, or impaired motor abilities experience websites in a way that abled users don’t even realize. Imagine this: if you closed your eyes and got someone to read the website to you, can you still understand the content? Alternatively, if you couldn’t use a mouse and had to interact with our site using just a keyboard, how easy is it?

Web accessibility – What does it mean?

Web accessibility means that people with disabilities can use the Internet. More specifically, it means that they can perceive, operate and understand any site. An accessible website aims to be usable to everyone regardless of their visual, auditory, physical, speech, cognitive, and neurological abilities.

What are we doing to create an accessible web experience?

Many accessibility features are easily implemented if they are planned at the outset of site redesign or development. To meet the needs of all our site visitors, we’ve built web accessibility into our process, from design and development through to user experience testing. Our designers and developers are working hard to ensure that all our products adheres to the required web accessibility guidelines, and our user experience testers are ensuring our web accessibility experience is exceptional.

Additionally, we teamed up with external web accessibility experts who conduct an accessibility audit to identify issues and provide recommendations as well as guidance on best practices.

Here are a few things we’ve done to become web accessible:

  • ensuring sufficient contrast between foreground and background elements
  • avoiding the use of small fonts sizes and fancy fonts that may impede legibility
  • coding and writing to ensure that our content is accessible and comprehensible by those using assistive technology

Above all, we continue to learn by attending web accessibility training and community events.

Removing barriers and maximizing the number of people and devices that can access our web content and functionality is now part of our core objective. We know that there’s still a lot to learn in the realm of web accessibility, and a lot of work to be done to ensure users aren’t excluded from easily navigating our site. We will continue to ensure all users have equal access and opportunity to the content and functionality available on telus.com.

Diana
Scrum Master