9 ways to create digital experiences that are inclusive for all

To help your company create digital experiences that are inclusive to all, we asked business leaders and PR experts for their best ideas. From implementing accessible chat features to high contrast design, there are several tips to help you create inclusive digital experiences for your customers. 

Here are nine ways to create inclusive digital experiences for your customers: 

Title '9 ways to create digital experiences that are inclusive for all' with headshots of of 9 business leaders

Re-Examine How We Write

Bringing inclusivity and equity to the way we write is an enormous (and important) pursuit, and small changes to common phrases can improve how inclusive our communications are. Specialty vocabularies are a prime opportunity to examine “what we’ve always done.” For example, the phrase “master and slave”—often used in engineering and IT settings to refer to a primary unit that controls secondary units—has significant racist connotations. Re-examining how we use language, then adapting more accurate phrases like “controller/responder” or “main/auxiliary” is an easy-to-implement first step toward improving inclusivity. 

- Web Webster, TechnologyAdvice -

Breaking Down Industry Terminology And Jargon 

As an addiction treatment center, it is important that our website is accessible for all our patients. That means using high contrast, easy-to-read text that breaks down complex medical terminology into something even a middle schooler can understand. Furthermore, we try to incorporate videos where we can to appeal to those who have trouble readings for various reasons.

- Dan Reck, MATClinics -

Accessible Chat Support Feature 

Retail shopping came to a complete halt this year, making items that are typically bought in person now only available online. We create a seamless digital experience, including detailed product descriptions, multiple pictures and views and a chat support feature to answer all questions customers might have. Shopping for a phone case that looks good and fits your phone is easy to do in-store, but taking that experience 100% online has required us to give more thought to the digital experience for a more vulnerable audience.  

- Peter Babichenko, SaharaCase -

Focus On Core Web Vitals

In an effort to quantify page experience, Google introduced Core Web Vitals to help websites offer a better website experience. Included in Core Web Vitals is a metric called Cumulative Layout Shift, or CLS. You know when you’re on a mobile device and you’re about to click on something, then an annoying ad gets in the way and you accidentally click on that ad? CLS measures how much content shifts and penalize sites that offer these poor website experiences on mobile and desktop devices. This should help improve the page experience for everyone, especially vulnerable customers online.

- Brett Farmiloe, Markitors -

Multiple Channels Of Communication

Adoption is a vulnerable process, whether you are a brave birthmother making the choice to follow through with adoption or an adoptive couple looking to grow your family. There is so much emotion throughout the entirety of the process from all sides. To be able to serve the people we work with through our adoption process, we have tried to create the best digital experience possible. Birth mothers or adoptive parents have the ability to text, call, email or chat 24/7 about whatever they need. 

- Kenna Hamm, Texas Adoption Center -

Personalized Consultations

Arrow Lift provides accessibility lifts and home elevator solutions that minimize the impact of mobility challenges and improve the lifestyle of our customers. We service customers with physical disabilities who have come to the realization that they are unable to access the part of their own home with stairs, which makes them vulnerable. To create an inclusive digital experience for those people, we have worked to create one that normalizes and provides educational information about installing a start lift or home elevator into their homes. We also provide free on-site consultations for those customers that need more of a personalized experience. 

- Liz Riggleman, Arrow Lift -

Detailed ALT Text On All Product Images

Our online retail store makes sure to use ALT text and descriptive captions so that vulnerable customers can visualize images when they can’t view them. One of the most problematic issues of an inclusive digital experience is missing or ineffective ALT text, which is why ecommerce stores like ours need to take the extra effort to ensure this information is included in images. This way, there is a positive user experience for all of our customers.  

- Daniel Richmond, Tic Watches -

High Contrast Design

Yes, it is deeply important to us that our website is accessible to everyone. One thing we made sure of as we were creating our website was to use a high contrast design with large text to cater to those who may be color blind or hard of seeing. This design carries over into a mobile site; as we know, it can be even harder to read small, light-colored text on a phone or tablet.

- Elliott Greenberg, Touchfree Concepts -

Email Friendly Website

On the Recruiterie website,  job seekers can email their resume rather than filling out an online application form. This helps them to easily apply for jobs that employers need to be filled. COVID-19 has left thousands laid off and seeking work, so we want to make sure that job seekers have an inclusive digital experience on our site during these vulnerable times. 

- Jon Schneider, Recruiterie -

We hope you learned a lot from our friends at Terkel. If you'd like to learn more about web accessibility, visit our dedicated resources area.

Your 8 step plan to accessible and inclusive websites

Creating an accessible and inclusive website isn’t a simple checkbox exercise. It’s a process. After all, websites are forever changing. Maintaining digital accessibility is part of the journey too.

Recently, we hosted a webinar with the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP). During the session, we walk you through an 8 step plan to creating and managing accessible websites and content.

8 step plan to accessible and inclusive websites social card.

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