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Re: Updated again: "Web Accessibility is Smart Business" Presentation

From: Ian Pouncey <w3c@ipouncey.co.uk>
Date: Mon, 11 Apr 2011 13:03:16 +0100
Message-ID: <BANLkTim7gtGtvACAZLhV4LkppMvHz-W_gA@mail.gmail.com>
To: EOWG <w3c-wai-eo@w3.org>
I sent Karl's original objection to one of the key developers on the
L&G redevelopment, Mike Davies, and asked his opinion. He came back
with the following points:

 * it wasn't a full redesign, content was updated, but the
applications were reskins with a specific focus on accessibility;
 * Applications were HTML forms behind https, so not search engine
indexable - so it would seem rather silly to spend ages on SEO
optimisation there;
 * Traffic wasn't the key metric, extra business acquired was;

The biggest indicator that accessibility / usability led directly to
an improvement can be seen on slide 39 of
http://isolani.co.uk/presentations/wsg/wsg-webaccessibility.pdf

It shows that the number of people starting an application did not
change, but the number of completions dramatically improved.

Mike also believes that the quote on slide 41, taken from the
it-director.com article, hits the mark quite accurately:

All of these statistics are excellent and can be seen to have a direct
effect on the profitability of Legal & General which far outweighed
the expenditure and demonstrate excellent return-on- investment (ROI).
Peter Abrahams, Bloor Research

Unless we want a debate about separation of 'accessibility' and
'usability' (and I hope we don't!) I think that the stats justify
including the reference in this presentation.

Regards,

Ian.

On 8 April 2011 01:24, Cecilia Farell <cecilia@ceciliafarell.ca> wrote:
> Hi:
>
> I just found an opinion piece on this very business case that I think nicely
> addresses both Karl's and Sharron's point of view:
>
> http://www.it-director.com/business/compliance/content.php?cid=9258
>
> Abrahams asks, which of the numbers can we say happened because the site is
> now more accessible to disabled people? Well, we really can't tell and, even
> if we could, the numbers would not make the case. But that's OK. He goes on
> to say:
>
> -----------------------
>
> The message [of the case study] is that thinking about, and designing for,
> accessibility is the best way to:
>
> Improve the quality of code and thus reduce maintenance and improve
> performance.
> Increase the search engine ranking and drive more visitors to the site.
> Increase the usability, which ensures more visitors stay on the site and
> then convert to customers.
> Improve the look and feel of a site for all, giving the users a pleasant
> experience and reducing complaints.
> Provide a site that can be used for small format devices such as mobiles,
> PDAs and UMPCs.
>
> These benefits should be attractive to any CEO, CIO or Marketing Director
> even if they are not convinced about, or do not understand, the importance
> of access for disabled people.
>
> -----------------------
>
> He concludes:
>
> ------------------------------
>
> My conclusion is that advocates of accessibility, including myself, should
> spend less time and effort talking about the benefits to disabled people,
> however important we think this is. Instead we should talk about
> accessibility as a discipline that improves the usability and quality of
> solutions for all users; and thus improves return on investment and
> profitability.
>
> If we talk in these terms we should get want we want with much less effort.
>
> ------------------------------------
>
> As an example, thinking about designing for accessibility makes us use ALT
> text, which we know does more than address the needs of the disabled. "Sell"
> the use of ALT text by presenting the bigger ROI picture and "get what you
> want" - a use of alternative text specifically for accessibility, in
> addition to its other more general uses.
>
> Hope this of use. Thanks,
>
> Cecilia
>
>
>
> On 07/04/2011 7:19 PM, Sharron Rush wrote:
>
> Still, I believe it is absolutley a valid example because the designers
> explicitly chose to include accessibility as part of their redesign
> requirements.
>
>
> At 06:06 PM 4/7/2011, Karl Groves wrote:
>
> Thanks for the reply, Sharron.  I'm glad to hear from you.
>
>
>> While there are admittedly other aspects of the
>> overall redesign, accessibility is definitely not
>> as trivial as the coat of paint you compare it
>> to.  The point is this:    As accessibility is
>> integrated into the development process, it has a
>> profound affect on how design decisions are made.
>> The improved results are so closely interrelated
>> that - well, you can not separate them, which is
>> what I think you said.  Would the outcomes have
>> been as great if the deliberate inclusion of
>> accessibility features NOT been made?  We don't
>> know.  Improved outcomes have been demonstrated
>> in other cases, but we have permission from Legal
>> and General which, I believe is why we rely on that one situation
>> so heavily.
>
> I kept the above paragraph because I didn't want to seem to be taking things
> too out of context.  You say:
> " Would the outcomes have been as great if the deliberate inclusion of
> accessibility features NOT been made?  We don't know."
>
> I think this sort of makes my point: we don’t know whether L&G's amazing
> results were specifically due to accessibility improvements.  In a
> presentation aimed at making that argument, any case studies included should
> be *just* about accessibility.  I feel that a more compelling business case
> would be one in which a list of accessibility problems were found, they were
> repaired, and they were shown to have a specific and directly attributable
> benefit.
>
> Unfortunately finding such a business case will be quite difficult. As you
> note, accessibility often is not (and should not be) its own separate
> effort. All teams involved in design & development need to integrate
> accessibility into the entire process in order to get a more accessible end
> product and so when it is done right it is more of a quality of work issue.
> Nevertheless I still feel that such "business case" would be as closely tied
> as possible to accessibility only.
>
> As you note in the remainder of your response, getting a client to consent
> to using them as a business case is a challenge.  I've been trying to get
> some business case-type data from some for a long time as well and it is
> difficult.
>
>
> Thanks.
>
> Karl L. Groves
> Director, Training
> Deque Systems, Inc.
> Phone:  443.517.9280
> E-mail:  karl.groves@deque.com
>
> Is a non-compliant website putting your organization at risk? Visit
> www.deque.com
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> --
>
> Cecilia Farell
> cecilia@ceciliafarell.ca
Received on Monday, 11 April 2011 12:03:44 GMT

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