Marketing - 05.06.2024


by Federica Brancale, CRO & Data Strategist

What is accessibility?

Web accessibility refers to the ability of computer systems to provide services to those with disabilities, whether temporary or permanent, using assistive technologies. This concept concerns websites, applications and all user interfaces in the digital world.
If until recently accessibility was a choice, now the legislative landscape is changing. It is essential to fully understand its dynamics and adapt to this new context.

Why it is important to talk about accessibility


The Agency for Digital Italy (AgID) has adopted, with Determination no. 117/2022, the Guidelines on the accessibility of IT tools for entities that offer services to the public through websites or mobile applications and that have an average turnover of more than five hundred million euros in the last three years. This regulation, in force since 28 June 2022, extends to these entities the accessibility rules already provided for Public Administrations by Law 4/2004. Starting from June 2025, the obligation to adapt will extend to all economic operators, in line with the provisions of the Accessibility Act (EU Directive 2019/882).
In addition to the Guidelines, AgID has introduced the accessibility declaration model, which must be issued and updated annually by 23 September. This declaration must be easily accessible, linked in the footer of websites or in the general information section of stores for mobile applications.
Drawing a parallel with what happened with GDPR, we recommend starting to think now about a strategic plan to regularize your solution and adopt a design mindset that is accessible and inclusive.

Website visits

Web accessibility is essential not only to comply with legal obligations, but above all to promote an ethical and inclusive approach. Ensuring that the company website is accessible to all, regardless of the physical or cognitive abilities of users, is a gesture of equity and respect towards diversity. It represents a concrete commitment to making the digital world more welcoming and usable by all, including those who use assistive technologies. From an economic point of view, the inaccessibility of the website entails the loss of a significant portion of the potential audience, approximately 30% of users. This group of users not only includes people with disabilities, but also individuals who may have temporary limitations, such as an injury, or permanent limitations, such as aging. Ignoring these users means excluding them from the opportunities offered by your services and products, limiting the impact and growth of your business.
A research by ContentSquare has shown that accessible websites not only attract a wider audience, but also improve the overall user experience. Users find it easier to navigate and use these sites, increasing their dwell time and reducing abandonment rates. Furthermore, improving accessibility has a positive impact on SEO, as search engines reward well-structured and easy-to-navigate sites, improving visibility and positioning in search results.
Let’s not forget that inclusivity is a value that is increasingly recognized and appreciated by consumers. A company that demonstrates its commitment to making its services accessible to all can strengthen its reputation and build customer loyalty, creating a positive image that goes beyond simple compliance with regulations and can have a significant impact on financial results.

Ethics and Branding

Inclusivity is a consolidated trend and fundamental for modern branding. In addition to complying with the regulation, adopting web accessibility practices reflects an ethical commitment and promotes brand activism, as suggested by Kotler.
In fact, implementing web accessibility practices not only improves the lives of millions of people, but also strengthens the brand identity, demonstrating social responsibility. This translates into greater customer loyalty and a competitive advantage. Already in 20219 a market research highlighted how over 70% of consumers reward companies that are committed to social issues such as inclusivity and accessibility. Investing in accessibility is not just regulatory compliance, but an opportunity to make a difference, communicating values ​​of inclusion and equity. This commitment can be emphasized through awareness campaigns, promoting a deeper and more meaningful connection with the public.

Rules and Principles to Follow

This is just a small overview of the WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines), and each principle should be evaluated in the most appropriate context to ensure effective implementation.
Just as in the early days of the web the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) introduced standards for a better web, today it updates these rules with a specific chapter dedicated to accessibility: the WCAG. The WCAG provides a series of guidelines for both User Experience (UX) and code, following the following four fundamental principles:

  • Perceivable: Information and user interface components must be presentable to users in ways that they can perceive. This means that users must be able to perceive the information presented, using at least one of their senses. For example, it is essential to use alternative text for images and captions for videos, so that information is not invisible to those with visual or hearing disabilities.
  • Operable: User interface components and navigation must be operable. This means that users must be able to operate the interface without requiring interactions that they cannot perform. This includes designing simple and intuitive navigation that does not require complex movements or fine motor skills, making the site usable even for those with motor disabilities.
  • Understandable: The information and operation of the user interface must be understandable. This means that users must be able to understand the information presented and how to operate the user interface. Content must be written in clear and direct language, and instructions must be simple and easy to follow, ensuring that everyone can understand and use the site.
  • Robust: Content must be robust enough to be interpreted reliably by a wide range of assistive technologies. This means that content must remain accessible as technologies advance, ensuring compatibility and stability across platforms and devices. Using clean, standardized code helps maintain accessibility over time, even as technologies and devices evolve.

Following these principles not only helps make the web accessible to all, but also improves the overall user experience, promoting inclusivity and digital equity.

How to comply and our suggestions

  1. Conducting an in-depth analysis of your customer base is the first crucial step to identify the most common disabilities among those who interact with your brand. This detailed study will be essential to prioritize an action plan that effectively responds to the real needs of users. The goal is to define the minimum level of accessibility to aspire to, thus providing clear and tangible guidance for the improvement process.
  2. In parallel, it is essential to identify the areas of intervention on your brand’s digital touchpoints. Starting with an accessibility assessment will allow you to evaluate the current state with respect to the WCAG and AGID guidelines, offering a solid basis for planning corrective actions and necessary improvements.
  3. Once you understand the needs and findings from the analysis, you can develop a targeted action plan to achieve the goals you set. This may include activities such as additional user testing, redesigning interfaces, updating content structures, and developing code for better integration with assistive technologies.
  4. Finally, it is important to understand that accessibility is an ongoing and dynamic process. As a digital product evolves over time, so should its level of accessibility. Therefore, it is advisable to adopt an “accessibility by design” approach from the beginning, integrating accessibility considerations into all phases of the design and development process. This approach ensures that accessibility is an integral part of the product from the beginning, reducing the need for future fixes and ensuring an inclusive and accessible digital experience for all users.

In conclusion

Intarget can support brands not only in complying with regulations, but also in spreading and promoting a culture of inclusion within companies. Accessibility is a key principle of digital responsibility for all market players. We can no longer forget it, ensuring equal access to digital resources for everyone represents a significant step towards a more equitable and supportive future.

Contact us to learn more about how we can help you regulate your touchpoints and promote accessibility by design within your organization.