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"What is the business case for accessibility"

"What is the business case for accessibility"

A 20 minute talk given at responsiveconf.

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Alice Bartlett

June 25, 2015
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Transcript

  1. Alice Bartlett Senior Developer Government Digital Service @alicebartlett

  2. I’m from the Government Digital Service GDS

  3. GDS “What is the business case for accessibility?”

  4. GDS This isn’t a bad question

  5. GDS 1. What is GOV.UK

  6. GDS 1. What is GOV.UK 2. What I mean by

    “accessibility”
  7. GDS 1. What is GOV.UK 2. What I mean by

    “accessibility” 3. Why writing a business case for accessibility is hard
  8. GDS 1. What is GOV.UK 2. What I mean by

    “accessibility” 3. Why writing a business case for accessibility is hard 4. You don’t need a business case
  9. GDS 1. What is GOV.UK 2. What I mean by

    “accessibility” 3. Why writing a business case for accessibility is hard 4. You don’t need a business case
  10. GDS The best place to find government services and information

  11. 11

  12. 12

  13. None
  14. GDS 19 million visits a week

  15. GDS 19 million visits a week Home to 330 departments

    and organisations
  16. GDS 19 million visits a week Home to 330 departments

    and organisations Saving £62 million per year
  17. GDS We’ve tried to make GOV.UK accessible as possible

  18. GDS But it hasn’t always been this way

  19. GDS

  20. GDS The GOV.UK alpha was terrible for accessibility

  21. GDS And we got a massive kicking for it

  22. –Leisa Richelt http://www.disambiguity.com/alphagov/ Ultimately, the AlphaGov prototype doesn’t make any

    significant attempt at achieving accessibility
  23. https://gds.blog.gov.uk/2011/05/06/accessibility/ It is a crying shame that good money has

    been wasted on this run of the mill, unimaginative and pointless website. Stop wasting my money!
  24. GDS

  25. GDS In the beta we built for inclusion In the

    beta, we built for inclusion
  26. - Tom Loosemore, 2011 We want to make the most

    easy to use, accessible government website there has ever been.
  27. GDS And so building for inclusion became part of how

    we worked
  28. GDS Regular testing with people with a broad spectrum of

    abilities
  29. GDS Screen reader training

  30. Government Digital Service Listed below are our design principles and

    examples of how we’ve used them so far. These build on, and add to, our original 7 digital principles. Start with needs* Do less Design with data Do the hard work to make it simple Iterate. Then iterate again. Build for inclusion Understand context Build digital services, not websites Be consistent, not uniform Make things open: it makes things better Last updated 2 July 2012 ALPHA Design Principles 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Government Digital Service Listed below are our design principles and examples of how we’ve used them so far. These build on, and add to, our original 7 digital principles. Start with needs* Do less Design with data Do the hard work to make it simple Iterate. Then iterate again. Build for inclusion Understand context Build digital services, not websites Be consistent, not uniform Make things open: it makes things better GOV.UK Last updated 2 July 2012 ALPHA Design Principles 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Search GDS www.gov.uk/design-principles
  31. -GDS Design Principles Accessible design is good design. We should

    build a product that's as inclusive, legible and readable as possible. If we have to sacrifice elegance – so be it.
  32. GDS 1. What is GOV.UK 2. What I mean by

    “accessibility” 3. Why writing a business case for accessibility is hard 4. You don’t need a business case
  33. GDS Let’s keep this brief, but so we’re all on

    the same page…
  34. GDS visual

  35. GDS visual hearing

  36. GDS visual hearing motor

  37. GDS visual hearing motor cognitive

  38. GDS This way of talking about users with accessibility needs

    is problematic
  39. Anne Gibson We can reframe accessibility in terms of what

    we provide, not what other people lack.
  40. GDS Anne Gibson has written about this over on A

    List Apart
  41. GDS It’s better to say “we should make our site

    accessible on as many inputs and outputs as possible”
  42. GDS Accessibility needs can be long term

  43. GDS You have epilepsy

  44. GDS You’re blind

  45. GDS You have learning difficulties

  46. GDS Accessibility needs can be temporary

  47. GDS You have a migraine

  48. GDS You break your arm

  49. GDS You develop RSI

  50. GDS You’re in a very noisy and chaotic environment

  51. GDS Give users as many ways as possible to access

    your website
  52. GDS 1. What is GOV.UK 2. What I mean by

    “accessibility” 3. Why writing a business case for accessibility is hard 4. You don’t need a business case
  53. GDS I wanted to come here and say…

  54. Alice Bartlett, parallel universe Here is your magic answer to

    why making your site accessible will make you filthy rich
  55. GDS That was naïve

  56. GDS A good business case should take a problem you

    can prove you have and solve it in the most cost effective way
  57. GDS A good business case should go something like this:

  58. GDS Step 1: You have a problem

  59. GDS We need more money We need more ad impressions

    We need people to think of us favourably We are currently at high risk of being sued We need to spend less on maintenance etc
  60. GDS Step 2: You come up with some solutions to

    your problem
  61. GDS This includes case studies, cost / benefit analysis, data

  62. GDS Step 3: You conclude by saying which of the

    possible solutions is the best
  63. GDS And your best solution is…

  64. We should solve X by improving the accessibility of our

    site
  65. We should solve X

  66. GDS Anecdotally there are loads of problems that can be

    solved by making your site more accessible
  67. GDS We need better SEO!

  68. GDS We need to lower our maintenance costs!

  69. GDS We’re missing out on revenue from seniors!

  70. GDS We’re missing out on revenue from people with accessibility

    needs!
  71. GDS We need to improve our image!

  72. GDS (the list goes on)

  73. GDS But when you start writing a business case for

    these it gets a lot trickier
  74. GDS Because there isn’t a whole lot of evidence that

    making a site accessible is the most cost effective way to solve any of these problems
  75. GDS And that’s what a good business case should do

  76. GDS Take a problem you definitely have

  77. GDS And solve it in the most cost effective way

    possible
  78. GDS In fact, the only well evidenced business case that

    I can find for making your site accessible is avoiding litigation
  79. GDS The RNIB has a handy explainer: http://www.rnib.org.uk/services-we-offer- advice-professionals/equality-act-compliance

  80. GDS The Equality Act (2010)

  81. GDS The duty to make reasonable adjustments

  82. GDS In the public sector we are also bound by

    the Public Sector equality Duty
  83. GDS The litigation angle rests on balancing the probability that

    you’ll get sued vs the cost of making your site accessible
  84. GDS If you’re a high profile company, the risk of

    being sued is big enough that you should make your site accessible
  85. GDS But if you’re a low profile company, then the

    chances of you being sued are a lot smaller
  86. GDS So actually, maybe there isn’t a business case for

    companies doing low profile work
  87. GDS I can’t say with confidence in those cases that

    making your website accessible will show a real return on investment
  88. GDS But…

  89. GDS 1. What is GOV.UK 2. What I mean by

    “accessibility” 3. Why writing a business case for accessibility is hard 4. You don’t need a business case
  90. GDS If you’re building right now, from scratch

  91. GDS Why wouldn’t you make your site accessible?

  92. GDS Building accessible websites has never been easier!

  93. GDS Bake “our site is accessible on a range of

    devices” into your company’s definition of what “good” looks like
  94. GDS As a front end developer add it to your

    list of the ways you know you did your job well
  95. GDS Sneak it in if you have to

  96. GDS You don’t need a business case

  97. –Karl Groves, http://www.karlgroves.com/2011/11/30/how-expensive-is-accessibility/ When [accessibility] becomes part of how you

    do things, of course it is free.
  98. GDS On GOV.UK building for inclusion is how we work

  99. GDS We share and discuss the accessibility of design patterns

    on a publicly accessible hack-pad: https://designpatterns.hackpad.com
  100. GDS

  101. GDS

  102. GDS Start today

  103. GDS Eventually it will be how you work and then

    it will be free
  104. GDS Summary Good business cases for accessibility are quite difficult

    to write You don’t need a business case.
  105. GDS Links Leisa Richelt on Alphagov: www.disambiguity.com/alphagov/ Alphagov Accessibility: https://gds.blog.gov.uk/2011/05/06/accessibility/

    Anne Gibson ALA: http://alistapart.com/article/reframing-accessibility-for-the-web WAI Business Case: http://www.w3.org/WAI/bcase/ RNIB guidance: www.rnib.org.uk/services-we-offer-advice-professionals/equality-act-compliance Karl Groves on accessibility costs: www.karlgroves.com/2011/11/30/how-expensive-is- accessibility/ The Design Hackpad: https://designpatterns.hackpad.com
  106. Thanks! Alice Bartlett @alicebartlett