DEVELOPING DIGITAL ACCESSIBILITY WITH THE USERIndex
As a digital environment is increasingly used for everyday tasks, it is important that digital experiences are developed to be inclusive and accessible.
Traditional design utilises the USERIndex which is a standardised means of measuring the user experience of a digital interface. Besides analysing the success of the use of the functions offered, it is also concerned with how the user feels about them.
USER stands for Usefulness, Satisfaction, Easy to Use and Reliability and is intended to support testing of the user experience – enabling companies to gain insight and inform improvements, widen their customer base, and create brand positivity.
The speed with which technology is advancing combined with use of the USERIndex has the potential to enable all users to engage inclusively with businesses online. In terms of using the index, this means:
Usefulness – companies could consider how their products interact with assistive technology incorporating inclusive design principles at the initial design phase of the development cycle.
Satisfaction – designers and developers could analyse the product’s behaviour when paired with assistive technology sooner rather than later in the software development lifecycle – so that it can meet the needs and create a satisfying experience for all consumers.
Easy to use – content that is presented in logical order, and communicated simply and consistently, should make a product enjoyable, functional, and intuitive for all users.
Reliability – accessibility features should be as fully tested for reliability as any other, with accessibility testing incorporated at appropriate points throughout the development cycle.
If companies aim to deliver excellent digital experiences usable by all, then the USERIndex provides an opportunity for them to promote disability inclusion at a strategic, tactical, programmatic level.
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