I’m in the very early stages of putting together accessibility improvements for an e-commerce web site. The site is several years old, and while it isn’t a complete accessibility disaster, there are many ways it can be improved. The markup was constructed decently enough, but it’s safe to say that accessibility wasn’t so much as even a fleeting thought.
My efforts are part of an overall project to improve and refresh the look and information architecture of the web site. From both a design and user experience perspective, we’ve advocated refreshing the site through gradual enhancements, instead of a massive, all-at-once redesign.
I’m excited at the chance to steer some real accessibility improvement on this project. This is a chance to get in there and make immediate improvements.
Some of the things I aim to do right out of the gate are:
These are easy “quick wins” that can be done without massive amounts of effort.
Not every accessibility undertaking — or redesign/refresh overall — needs to be a huge undertaking. For one, there may not be a budget to completely overhaul a site. Also, such overhauls can potentially be too sudden and startling a change for visitors who have been there before.
You don’t have to wait for the big, all-encompassing project to make improvements. You can tackle it piece and piece and, incrementally, improve the accessibility.
As I knock off each of those bullets above as well as whatever else I find, the site will become better and better for those who visit via screen readers, keyboard navigation or whatever means they need to. The site will become better and better, period.