Inclusive Web Design: Main Business Benefits
Creating an inclusive web design for your business can help you appeal to a more extensive customer base and provide a better user experience. Not only that, but it can also give your company a competitive edge.
Whether you're just starting as a freelancer offering services online or running a full-fledged design agency, you need to think about how to create an accessible and usable website that will reflect positively on your brand.
This blog post will explore the main business benefits of inclusive web design, from increased customer engagement to improved SEO performance. So stick around if you're ready to ensure visitors of all abilities have access to the same great experiences when they visit your website!
What is Inclusive Web Design?
Web design is becoming an increasingly important component of brand growth these days. However, before we explain how it can accomplish this, we must first define inclusive web design.
The term “inclusive web design” describes creating websites that provide a positive user experience for all users, regardless of their demographics, abilities, or other circumstances. By eliminating barriers, accessible web design offers a more welcoming experience to persons with different skills. Therefore, to create a website that is accessible to everyone, there are numerous factors to think about.
Here are some things to keep in mind to ensure that you are not hindering a visitor's ability to use or enjoy a website fully:
- Physical impairments affecting hearing, vision, or dexterity
- Mental illnesses that impair speech or cognition
- Situational constraints that prevent the user from fully utilising the product
- Equipment, internet access, and computer literacy are examples of technical barriers.
- Geographic and linguistic constraints
- Age, race, and gender are all demographic factors.
- Economic and social divisions
Why Is Inclusive Design Vital?
Inclusive design aims to cater to people throughout the whole range of human variation. Those who work in the field of accessibility strive to make their spaces accessible to persons of all abilities. The inclusive design incorporates many perspectives, including those of people with disabilities, into the design process.
Individuals that use digital goods come from many walks of life and have diverse backgrounds. These encounters shape how kids engage with the rest of the world, including how they use applications and websites. An inclusive design lets individuals with varying levels of expertise engage with digital products without difficulty.
Ways To Implement Inclusive Web Design
The WCAG 2.0 is a set of guidelines for improving the accessibility of online content for individuals with impairments such as poor vision, hearing loss, learning difficulties, cognitive limits, restricted mobility, speech problems, photosensitivity, and combinations thereof. According to those guidelines, you can make your website more inclusive by:
- Keeping your layout clear: No one likes a messy design or a chaotic layout full of little navigational signs or non-logical groups of information.
- Designing large buttons: Call-to-action buttons are one of the most significant web design components, so please handle them carefully.
- Enabling customisable text: You may think that font size 12 is enough for your website's readers.
- Testing keyboard navigation: When you try your web design prototype, remember to test the keyboard navigation.
- Making a good colour contrast: Putting light-grey letters on the white background will make the text hardly readable.
Now that we've explained what's inclusive web design, it's time to cover all the benefits that will allow you to use it to your advantage to improve conversion rates, brand loyalty and growth.
1 – Increased Market Reach
Creating a website accessible to all is a great way to increase your business reach and grow customer relationships. Making sure everyone can access the website regardless of any accessibility or technological limitations increases potential client engagement, link-building opportunities, and partnerships with other businesses.
Having an easily accessible website means no one will be excluded from interacting with your company, allowing you to reach more customers than ever. It also presents an opportunity for effective marketing strategies to spread quickly across a global market. Investing in ensuring your website is available to all needs ultimately benefits your business growth and expands your opportunities for success.
2 – Increased Accessibility
Accessibility refers to the ease of access to any physical, financial, and digital resource. Accessibility is essential for website development as it ensures everyone can easily access a site and its content regardless of their abilities.
Given the increasing reliance on the internet for daily activities, businesses should prioritise making sure their websites are accessible to all users. That helps extend a website's reach beyond traditional barriers such as physical ability or disability while providing a better user experience. Moreover, ignoring accessibility guidelines can lead to legal implications in some countries, as there are laws dictating specific requirements to be met by web developers. Thus, investing in accessible website design is critical for customer satisfaction and avoiding legal issues.
3 – Inclusive Design Fuels Teams and Their Optimism
There is a correlation between a company's online diversity promotion and employee satisfaction. While working for a worthy purpose, the team is more motivated to succeed. For this reason, inclusivity is becoming an essential element of brand strategy for many companies. All of us, at heart, want our efforts to be appreciated.
According to studies, employees who feel their job has meaning are likelier to remain with the same company over the long term. It's not only about the folks motivated solely by material gain. They're also more likely to spread the word about the company, both within and outside the workplace, to encourage others to work there and buy goods and services.
4 – Improved User Experience
User Experience (UX) is the overall feelings and responses to any interaction with a product, service, or digital application. It refers to the design of that experience and how users perceive it. UX encompasses all aspects of a user's journey, from first being made aware of the product, creating an account for making a purchase, interacting with the UI elements within an application, using it on different devices or platforms, speaking with customer service when something goes wrong; these are all part of the overall User Experience.
A great experience is impactful and lasting, delivering results far beyond straightforward task completion – and impacting your brand reputation well.
Inclusive web design can significantly improve user experience in various ways. It reduces many barriers that users with disabilities and those using mobile devices face. That enables them to interact with content and websites more efficiently. Inclusive web design offers better navigation and compatibility across all platforms. That ensures the same experiences, better readability for everyone, and features that make interaction with the website more accessible.
Furthermore, inclusive web design offers a unified brand message through uniform visual identity across all channels. That strengthens and reinforces the brand message. Overall, embracing inclusive web design leads to better customer satisfaction and positive feelings toward the company.
Web design today isn't just about how websites look. It's also about how they function. A website's most important functional element is how easily users can navigate it. A successful web design must include a clear and logical navigation structure, allowing users to access content quickly, easily, and without interruption.
Inclusive web design provides for enhanced navigation by making sure the website is accessible to a variety of users, regardless of their device or ability level. That ensures everyone can access and interact with your content quickly and effectively, allowing them to get what they need from their experience.
6 – Increased Brand Awareness and Loyalty
Brand awareness refers to the degree of recognition, familiarity, and understanding a customer has of a company's distinct characteristics, attributes, and offerings. Understanding brand awareness is vital for businesses because it contributes to overall success by improving recognition and loyalty.
Customers who are aware of and recognise a particular brand are more likely to engage with that business. Thus, brands should optimise their communication, design, product differentiation, customer service, and marketing activities. When all these branding elements are combined under one cohesive strategy, the business will experience increased market share and customer loyalty.
That said, your website can stand out with an inclusive design process. Inclusive and accessible web design helps visitors recognise and remember your brand better due to improved user experiences. This boosts customers' loyalty and allows you to target a broader range of potential customers by appearing in search results. People of all abilities will be able to interact with and enjoy your content, which in turn builds trust. Investing time and resources into creating an accessible website with no barrier to entry is a surefire way to get your brand noticed by as many people as possible.
7 – Improved Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
One of the primary benefits of implementing an inclusive web design strategy is improved SEO. Search engines favour sites with usability considerations such as strong alt tags, descriptive URLs, and semantic HTML code. That makes it easier for users to find the content they want.
It also improves the overall ranking of a website on major search engines like Google and Bing. Because of this, businesses that design their websites with all users in mind will get more attention from different search engines. Ultimately, this will lead to increased visits and higher rankings overall. Additionally, by making sure your website's coding meets current accessibility standards, you can vastly improve your visibility in major search engines, which can lead to more customers visiting your site and greater brand awareness.
8 – Competitive Advantage
A competitive advantage is a strategic aspect of a business that allows it to have an edge over others in its industry. The importance of having such an advantage lies in the benefits it can bring to a company. For example, investing in inclusive web design for competitive advantage can lead to enhanced market share with more customer convenience, increased customer satisfaction thanks to improved accessibility and personalised experiences, and improved brand differentiation for enhanced recognition. All of these factors boost a business's profitability in the long run, making it clear why companies should prioritise this area when developing their strategy.
9 – Cost-Effective
Cost-effective design is an essential consideration for many organisations. It can reduce development, maintenance, and legal expenses while retaining a quality outcome. With inclusive web design, it is possible to enhance cost-effectiveness by making the website accessible to more users than ever before.
Through this, organisations can benefit from reduced development costs as features like accessibility and mobile device compatibility will no longer have to be separately built for a higher price. Similarly, companies can reduce the cost of maintenance due to increased page layout flexibility and lack of errors that come with stricter implementation requirements for compliant code.
Lastly, Web Accessibility Standards have presented even more benefits in terms of lower legal costs, as having accessible websites decreases the risk of legal action from people with disabilities. Inclusive web design enables all levels of cost reduction, so companies should take advantage accordingly.
By utilising inclusive web design, companies can enjoy significant benefits such as increased market share, customer satisfaction and brand awareness. By taking the time to create an inclusive online presence, businesses are not only demonstrating their commitment to making their platform accessible for all users but are also optimising their operational efficiency for maximum returns.
Now is the perfect time for those who are late to the party of web design accessibility—there's never been a better opportunity for organisations to make strides in this direction and reap its rewards. Hopefully, now that you know the main business benefits of inclusive web design, you will implement them as soon as possible.
Author Bio: Mark Jonson has been a web designer and digital marketing expert for ten years. He is passionate about inclusive web design and has assisted many organisations in improving user experience and reaching a wider audience. His blog and other works cover web design, digital marketing, and accessibility.