We formulate a well structured, thoroughly tested, and intuitively designed web site and/or app environment for your new brand.
Exceptional web design isn’t just about making things look pretty. It’s about creating value by making design more meaningful, useful and engaging. Design is a problem-solving process that is essential to the visual interpretation and translation of brands to an audience. A successful brand must have a good story about the organization behind it.
Before we can design a solution, we must recognize the problem by understanding the business context in which your brand must function. We identify and utilize every brand touch point – from print to environments – so that we can create a lasting and coherent brand identity system. We work within your brand guidelines and your marketing initiatives to establish a sharp and effective visual interface design that supports your business goals and attracts customers.
We focus on WordPress because, frankly, it is easy and does most of things our clients want a website to be able to do. We believe that websites should be affordable – a 24/7 salesperson, generating leads and validating your message and brand to the world.
ADA Web Design
As a parent of a child with disabilities, opportunity and equality for all are of the utmost importance to me. As society becomes more and more tech-centric, the online experience matters more as well. What does this mean for your company’s design? It means that it needs to be compliant with the law. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to your website and apps. ADA compliance can seem complex, but really, it is simply a set of protocols taken into account when designing and developing a website that allow for anyone to have a good experience on your website.
If you would like to learn more about hw to create a stunning ADA compliant website, Contact Us Now.
(Below goes much further in depth about ADA compliance)
Website Accessibility & the ADA
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was first passed in 1990. Twenty years later, the US Department of Justice released an update called the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design. These standards cover the design of physical spaces and have been interpreted to include web locations as well, so it can be difficult for the would-be accessible website designer to use them.
While the ADA itself may not be very specific about web compliance, the goal is clear: that we reach the same level of accessibility online that disabled people are guaranteed by law offline.
Since 2010, the DOJ has been promising to release additional regulations outlining what is and isn’t ADA compliant in website design and development. They’re currently projecting regulations in 2018 and enforcing the website ADA compliance on a case-by-case basis.
In short, businesses covered by the ADA are:
- Private employers with 15 or more employees
- Public entities at state and local levels (covered under Title II, which includes both physical and programmatic access to all programs and services offered)
- Businesses operating for the benefit of the public and non-profits (more specifically, “public accommodations and commercial facilities” are covered under Title III)
Most businesses are covered under Title III, which guarantees:
…the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, or accommodations of any place of “public accommodation” by any person who owns, leases, or operates a place of public accommodation. Public accommodations include most places of lodging (such as inns and hotels), recreation, transportation, education, and dining, along with stores, care providers, and places of public displays.
While this was obviously written for physical products and locations, case law seems pretty clear that it extends to online business and information as well. Many private clubs and religious organizations may be exempted, however, because they are neither public accommodations or commercial facilities.
If you work with the federal government…
….you’re actually covered under an entirely different piece of legislation.
Companies that work directly with or take money from the federal government are covered under Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which includes significant constraints that may impact website style and design.
Most businesses don’t need to worry about 508 compliance, but those who do can use the same tools to bring your website “up to code” that you can for ADA compliance (i.e. WCAG 2.0 guidelines—more on that in a little bit).
ADA Compliance Standards
In 1999, the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) created the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). In essence, the people who determine how the internet is written came together to advise web developers on how to make websites accessible not only to people with disabilities, but to all web users, including those with highly limited devices.
In 2008, these standards were updated in WCAG 2.0, which has become an ISO International Standard for the web. A number of governments require that public websites meet these standards, including the EU and Australia.
Today, WCAG 2.0 is also the industry standard for non-governmental organizations. The DOJ has used WCAG 2.0 to judge accessibility and ADA compliance in court cases, such as the case against Winn-Dixie in June 2017.
The WCAG 2.0 Standards
The principles, guidelines and success criteria in WCAG stay fixed, but techniques are periodically updated, so it’s a good idea to check in with the updated guidelines when you’re working on a website.
The four principles involved are that websites must be perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust, or POUR. Within each principle are guidelines, and within each guideline are techniques and failure examples.
Here’s a list directly from W3C and WAI:
- Provide text alternatives for non-text content.
- Provide captions and other alternatives for multimedia.
- Create content that can be presented in different ways,
including by assistive technologies, without losing meaning.
- Make it easier for users to see and hear content.
- Make all functionality available from a keyboard.
- Give users enough time to read and use content.
- Do not use content that causes seizures.
- Help users navigate and find content.
- Make text readable and understandable.
- Make content appear and operate in predictable ways.
- Help users avoid and correct mistakes.
- Maximize compatibility with current and future user tools.
There are three levels of conformance with WCAG 2.0: A, AA, and AAA.
Level A conformity isn’t difficult, but it also provides the least benefit to impaired users. The focus of this level is making it easier for browser readers to navigate and translate the site. While this is an improvement for many websites, it doesn’t make a site as accessible as the DOJ would like it to be.
Level AA is a little more significant, and makes sites accessible to people with a wider range of disabilities, including the most common barriers to use. It won’t impact the look and feel of the site as much as Level AAA compliance, though it does include guidance on color contrast and error identification. Most businesses should be aiming for Level AA conformity, and it appears to reflect the level of accessibility the DOJ expects.
Level AAA is the most demanding level of accessibility compliance, and it will significantly affect the design of the site. However, it also makes a website accessible to the widest range of people with disabilities.
As I mentioned above, under each WCAG 2.0 principle is a list of guidelines, and under each guideline are compliance standards, with techniques and failure examples at each level. Some guidelines include only Level A items; others include items for multiple levels of conformance, building from A to AAA. At each stage, you can easily see what more you would need to do to reach Level AA or AAA. In this way, many websites include elements at multiple levels of accessibility.