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What Is the Importance of Upcoming WCAG 2.2 Guidelines for Digital Businesses?

24-Jun-2022

What Is the Importance of Upcoming WCAG 2.2 Guidelines for Digital Businesses?

Importance of WCAG 2.2 Guidelines for Digital Businesses

Ever since the world has gotten closer to the concept of digital transformation, the need for mobile and web apps has jumped like never before. Every day, thousands of users reach for different websites and apps in order to meet their goals of shopping, gaming, payments, and so on. As per the reports, Google receives more than 5.6 billion searches in a day processing around 63000 queries every second.  

However, there is still a huge community of users who are not able to get proper access to mobile or web apps due to disabilities. WCAG compliance is therefore defined to ensure equal access of these apps to users with disabilities like partial blindness, hearing loss, motor impairment, etc.  

Thus, it is extremely crucial that IT solution providers must understand the need for accessibility on websites and applications. Besides, it is necessary that the importance of WCAG or Web Content Accessibility Guidelines must be understood to ensure a seamless experience for all.  

In this blog, we will aim at highlighting the concept of WCAG while giving a thorough introduction to WCAG 2.2 guidelines. Also, we will underline the entire list of web app testing services that must be implemented to ensure compliance with WCAG 2.2 guidelines.  

Let’s begin! 

WCAG: An Overview 

WCAG guidelines are the technical description of accessibility guidelines and the success criteria. Made to make web content accessible to people who are differently abled, the guidelines help create websites that are made to align with users having disabilities related to visuals, hearing, physical or motor limitations, speech, cognitive issues, language, learning, and neurological disabilities. 

WCAG guidelines can also be considered as legal requirements or compliances that businesses should follow to ensure equal accessibility of web content to all people. Defined by Wikipedia, WCAG is part of web accessibility guidelines that comes under the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) of the W3C, the prime organization for international standards of the Internet. These are basically the recommendations made for creating more accessible web content for all user groups including people with disabilities and those having limited access to devices.  

Principles Of WCAG 2.2 

  • Operable: To ensure operability of the user interface components and navigation.  

  • Perceivable: Any information and user interface components should be easy to perceive when presented to users.  

  • Robust: To create content that is robust and can be interpreted by different user agents and assistive technologies. 

  • Understandable: To ensure all the operations and information must be easy to understand. 

Conformance Levels of WCAG 2.2 

As per the WCAG compliance, web content should align with a minimum of one of the conformance levels: 

  • Level A: Depicting minimal compliance, websites or web apps that do not align with Level A conformance is difficult to access for people with disabilities. Thus, it is necessary that websites should be minimum Level A compliant meeting the requirements like offering keyboard-based navigation, video captions, etc.  

  • Level AA: Level AA conformance defines acceptable compliance. These are the websites that are more easily accessible to people with disabilities. Level AA compliance includes some more specific requirements for the web design such as a contrast of ratio 4:5:1, consistent placement of navigation elements, accurate labels on form fields, etc. 

  • Level AAA: Defining the optimal compliance, websites that stick to Level AAA compliance offer the most seamless experience to the users, irrespective of their disabilities. Some of the essential requirements that are met on Level AAA compliance include sign language interpretation for audio/video, the colour contrast of 7:1, context-sensitive assistance, etc.   

Why do Businesses Need WCAG Guidelines? 

If worked effectively with a careful check on quality assurance solutions, sticking to WCAG guidelines could bring huge benefits to the businesses. Some of these could be listed as: 

Equal Accessibility 

WCAG guidelines are meant to ensure that any web content developed must be available and accessible to all users even for people having any kind of disabilities.   

Legal Compliance 

WCAG guidelines are more than just accessibility guidelines but are legal compliance that businesses need to meet in order to take their app or website to the users on the web. The inability or failure to meet these guidelines could cause penalization or legal complications.  

Website Ranking 

Any website or web app that is made in accordance with WCAG guidelines gets a higher ranking in the SERPs. It ultimately helps to seek better traffic and ranking.  

Improved UX 

The higher the accessibility, the better the user experience delivered. Thus, it is necessary that businesses should comply with accessibility guidelines like WCAG 2.2 to ensure optimum user experience. 

Brand Image 

Apps or websites with greater accessibility showcase no discrimination against users with disabilities. Therefore, it helps enhance trust and improve the brand image.  

App Usability 

Sticking to WCAG 2.2 guidelines by W3C helps improve the overall usability of the websites and web apps. The right usage of ALT tags or keyboard-driven navigation entirely helps to create seamless web access.  

Revenue Generation 

Adopting WCAG guidelines allows users to experience all the necessary user engagement and visits to the websites. More importantly, creating a perfect user experience allows adding more value in terms of revenue and lead generation.  

How Businesses Could Ensure WCAG 2.2 Compliance? 

For businesses that need to align with WCAG 2.2 compliance, it is vital for the developers and testers to shift their focus towards accessibility testing services. Accessibility testing as a software testing practice is meant to check on the accessibility of the web solution to complement the unique requirements of users with disabilities.  

Wondering what tools could help you meet your accessibility goals? 

Read Here: Top Accessibility Testing Tools for Web Applications 

Be it vision impairment or hearing difficulties, WCAG 2.2 compliance allows checking the websites and web apps for factors like colour contrast, keyboard access, readability, navigation, etc. On that note, let us quickly jump on exploring various types of accessibility testing services that can help leverage digital businesses for added productivity: 

  • Accessibility Testing (Manual) 

Manual accessibility testing involves manual testers reviewing the application for meeting WCAG guidelines. The process even involves using the knowledge and expertise to test the web solution for all the unique test scenarios and ensure compliance with W3C rules.  

  • Accessibility Testing (Automation) 

Accessibility testing works on leveraging automation testing services making the most of automation frameworks and tools to check on accessibility. It not only adds speed to the process of locating issues but even requires less effort compared to manual practices.  

  • Native & Hybrid Apps Testing 

The process involves testing all the native and hybrid apps in order to check for all the possible accessibility scenarios that users from android or iOS platforms could encounter.  

  • Web App Accessibility Testing 

The web app accessibility testing works on testing the PWAs or other web apps to meet the WCAG guidelines. The process usually aims at testing the web content readability, colours, images, contrast, and all other factors that help users have a smooth user experience.  

  • Hardware Testing 

Last but not least, the hardware testing part of the accessibility testing process works on sticking to conformance goals surrounding section 508 as well as other defined standards. The process involves checking the accessibility of different hardware configurations in order to create a perfect experience, even for people with disabilities. 

The Crux 

From people having disabilities to anyone exploring the web, it is vital that any web solution must be made to offer equal access to the people. And therefore, it is necessary that accessibility guidelines like WCAG 2.2 must be followed by every business that needs to offer equal access to their users. Besides, it works as a mandate for all businesses going digital as a necessary action to align with legal and regulatory compliance.  

And just in case you are looking for some expert assistance to create digital products that are accessible to every user, irrespective of vision, speed, or other cognitive disabilities, feel free to reach our experts at BugRaptors. We bring you all the support you need to foster next-gen QA and software testing services creating the most accessible website, apps, and mobile solutions.  

For more information, reach us through info@bugraptors.com   

author

Achal Sharma

Achal works as QA engineer in BugRaptors. He is well versed with manual testing, mobile application testing, game testing, compatibility testing , Regression testing and sanity testing and able to create effective documentation related to testing like test case, test report etc.

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