One key aspect of agile accessibility is prioritizing user journeys. This means focusing on the paths that users take when interacting with a digital experience and prioritizing the accessibility work that will have the most impact on the business. By identifying and addressing accessibility issues in these user journeys, organizations can ensure that their digital experiences are inclusive and equitable.
Just as with Agile development, agile accessibility involves thinking about user stories. This means considering the needs and expectations of users with disabilities and incorporating them into the testing process. By prioritizing user journeys that are most impactful to the business, teams can allocate their resources effectively and address accessibility issues in a timely manner.
One advantage of prioritizing user or customer journeys is that it aligns with legal requirements for accessibility. Accessibility laws typically mandate that digital experiences be accessible to people with disabilities, but they do not require organizations to fix 100% of the issues all the time. By focusing on the user journeys that have the most business impact, organizations can ensure that they are meeting their legal obligations while also prioritizing their resources effectively.
Traditional audits often identify accessibility issues that may not be impactful to the user’s experience. These issues may be on pages that are rarely visited or do not significantly affect the overall user journey. By prioritizing user journeys, organizations can avoid getting distracted by less critical issues and focus on the work that really needs to be done, such as improving the homepage or the checkout process.
In addition to prioritizing user journeys, ongoing monitoring is essential for maintaining accessibility. Digital experiences are dynamic and constantly changing, and organizations may not always be aware of the accessibility issues that are introduced during these changes. By monitoring for accessibility errors, organizations can be alerted when new issues arise and prioritize fixing them. This monitoring can be done on a regular basis, such as monthly scans, and can focus on key pages or areas of the website that are of critical importance.
When starting new initiatives, organizations have the opportunity to prioritize accessibility from the beginning. By addressing accessibility in the ideation and design stages, organizations can prevent accessibility issues from being passed on to the development team. This can be achieved by working from an accessible design system and ensuring that all components are accessible. However, one challenge that organizations may face is convincing leadership to change brand colors if they are not accessible. Overcoming these challenges and integrating accessibility into the design system can set the foundation for creating accessible digital experiences.
Prioritizing user journeys for accessibility is a crucial aspect of agile accessibility. By focusing on the paths that users take and addressing accessibility issues in these journeys, organizations can ensure that their digital experiences are inclusive and equitable. Ongoing monitoring is also essential for maintaining accessibility, as digital experiences are constantly changing. By integrating accessibility into new initiatives from the beginning, organizations can create digital experiences that meet the needs and expectations of all users. Agile accessibility is not just a checkbox; it is a mindset that fosters innovation, collaboration, and a commitment to creating a more accessible and inclusive digital world.