eSSENTIAL Accessibility Launches Design Assessments Based on First-Ever Design-Focused WCAG Rules Library

Accessibility ESSENTIAL (eA), the leading accessibility-as-a-service platform, today announced the launch of its new solution capability, Design Evaluations. Based on the industry’s first design-focused Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) library of rules, Design Evaluations will identify digital accessibility issues rooted in the design of a digital asset or experience, eliminating obstacles long before development begins.

(Photo: eSSENTIAL Accessibility Twitter account)

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“With Design Evaluations, we’re fundamentally changing the way design teams can improve the accessibility of digital experiences,” said Marc Steele, co-founder and CEO of eSSENTIAL Accessibility. “By helping organizations identify accessibility errors early in their build process, teams can catch errors before they become barriers to users in a real environment. And designers will learn from this. process, increasing their ability to create inclusive designs over time.”

Design-rooted accessibility errors are present on the vast majority of websites today. According to a recent WebAIM Accessibility Assessment landing pages of the million top performing websites, low contrast text was the most frequently detected WCAG issue. The study reveals that it is present on 84% of home pages. Low-contrast text is a design flaw and is only one of the design-related WCAG 2.1 AA pass criteria.

By identifying and resolving accessibility issues during the design phase, teams can resolve the vast majority of accessibility errors. Of the 50 WCAG 2.1 AA success criteria, 41 criteria, or 82%, can be addressed, at least partially, in the design. eA’s design assessments will flag these WCAG errors, allowing designers to fix them before their website, app or product goes further in its development lifecycle. This reduces the costs of fixing accessibility errors downstream and preserves the team’s capacity for other important work.

There are two types of eA design assessments:

  • Digital brand assessments provide design feedback on an organization’s brand style guide, the foundation of its visual identity.
  • Interface design reviews provide feedback on all newly designed product pages, screens, or views.

Design assessments are supported by the multi-faceted capabilities of the integrated eA platform. Organizations can upload designs for analysis to the platform, then monitor status, review results, and receive actionable feedback with tips and resources, all from one convenient interface.

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