Inclusive digital banking: 6-step plan to improving accessibility and readability


Digital accessibility has become even more critical as COVID-19 drove information and services online. It is important to make sure accessibility is a priority when developing content and the overall user experience. A few simple changes can go a long way.

To help you on your way to improving the accessibility of your digital financial services, here’s a 6-step plan. It’ll help you to consider how accessible and usable your online services are to people with disabilities. And guide you as you begin to improve the customer experience for all.


6-step plan to inclusive digital banking

1. Get equipped. Understand best practice.

To kick start your efforts, understanding best practice is a good place to start. After all, you can’t set goals without first realizing your vision and what you want to achieve.

Accessibility

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) explain how to make web content more accessible to people with disabilities. There are three levels - WCAG A, AA and AAA. Organizations should aim to comply with WCAG to standard Level AA at minimum. At this level, you’ll tackle the most common barriers for disabled users. Your website would be considered usable and understandable for most people, including those with disabilities.

Readability

Regardless of difference, disability or language, everyone should be able to manage their finances independently online. It’s important to remember that the readability of content plays a role here too. We recommend keeping your content simple, short and clear. Keep your content to a maximum reading age of 13 years. Use sentences that are less than 21 words in length. Choose words that everyone will understand, instead of using jargon.

2. Enlighten your teams. Inspire change

Web accessibility is everyone’s responsibility.

Every team in your organization creates content that is used to communicate with your customers. So it’s important to remember that your vision shouldn't be left in the hands of one person or one team. Instead, share your vision company-wide. Let your colleagues know why it’s important to you, and help them to share in your passion.

To help you, we’ve created a web page with everything they need to know. Simply share the link below, and enlighten your teams on the importance of Inclusive Digital Banking. 

text.help/digital-banking

3. Audit your website. Understand your position.

When you’ve got a clear view of what you want to achieve, it’s time to set your roadmap to success. Understanding how accessible and readable your website already is will allow you to set meaningful goals. A website audit is the best way to get this information.

An automated website accessibility checker will allow you to scan your website at scale. And save you time so you can focus on what matters most - making the fixes. At Texthelp, we created the ReachDeck Auditor to scan our own website for accessibility and readability errors. Today, it’s helping many organizations as they work hard to improve. We’d like to support you too. Book a free consultation with us and receive a quick review of your website.

4. Get stuck in. Trust the ripple effect.

When it comes to web accessibility, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. But, you don’t need to be an expert. You just need to be willing to get stuck in. We’re sure you’ve heard the saying - ‘Everyone has the power to change the world’. That’s because small actions can lead to big changes. In web accessibility we certainly believe this to be true.

For example, a website could use a font color with poor contrast against its background. This could cause hundreds if not thousands of errors, because this error occurs on every web page. By simply changing font color, all these errors would be fixed with one update. Instantly, accessibility would have improved greatly for those with color sensitivities. So start small, and trust that with every action you’ll create positive change.

To help, we’ve created WCAG checklists for you to share with your teams. As they create new content, it’ll help them to keep best practice in mind. 

5. Create a routine. Maintain your good work. 

As you work hard to improve, remember that web accessibility is a journey. It’s not an exercise that can be ticked off and marked as done. After all, websites are constantly changing. Maintaining your good work is important too!

Getting your teams into a routine can help to keep web accessibility at the forefront. Carry out regular website audits. Have frequent team check ins. At Texthelp, we scan our website weekly using the ReachDeck Auditor. Our teams check in with each other at least once a week to discuss progress and success. Our employees have also been trained in website accessibility and readability. To help them write content that’s easy to understand, we’ve also provided them with our readability editing tool, the ReachDeck Editor. Find a routine that works for your team, and remember there’s plenty of support out there that can help.

6. Seek support. You’re not alone.

In our digital-first world, there’s a huge community of people championing for better accessibility. There’s also plenty of organizations offering solutions and advice to help. So partner up with the experts. Use tools that’ll help you to succeed. For example WebAIM’s Contrast Checker can help you decide on accessible color schemes. This A-Z of Plain English can help you to choose simpler words. 

Need support? We’re here to help.

We’d like to offer our support as you create a culture that champions inclusive digital banking. Book a free consultation with one of our experts and have your questions answered. You’ll also receive a quick overview of your website’s accessibility and readability.  

Wherever you decide to begin, we’d like to wish you luck as you take the first step on your journey to accessibility!