At Wunderkind, ensuring that products are accessible to users with a wide range of disabilities is a top priority. It’s not just a business concern — it’s embedded in our values of carrying each other and driving undeniable performance for our clients.
The importance of accessibility
We’re always trying to improve our digital accessibility and believe that it’s a crucial aspect of any successful business.
The benefits of having an accessible website include improving SEO, elevating the overall user experience, and reducing the risk of a lawsuit. It also helps you reach a larger audience, representing billions in spending power.
How we’re addressing accessibility — and you can too!
A team effort
For optimal effectiveness, we ensure every designer and developer on our teams is familiar with and committed to the current WCAG 2.1 Guidelines. We frequently encourage knowledge sharing and discussions that lead to functional solutions for all users.
Providing continual training to our staff with a number of presentations, guides, recordings, websites, and tools helps us stay up to date with the latest in accessibility. We host an onboarding session for all new employees to build awareness about diversity, equity, and inclusion, among our teams. Our WIIGs (Wunderkind Identity and Impact Groups) are employee formed, and center around common experiences and belonging objectives. We currently have 10 WIIG groups that are committed to an inclusive workplace.
Shifting accessibility left
We’re shifting our accessibility all the way to the beginning of our processes, so it’s accessible at all levels. A key aspect of shift-left is to find and prevent defects earlier in the software delivery process, the responsibility moving from engineers, back to the designers. To avoid WCAG violations as early as possible and reduce the number of issues at the QA stage, we check accessibility from the get-go. By making it clear that “accessibility is solved at the design stage,” we can empower our designers to make that a top priority of their work.
Streamlining accessibility company-wide
Internally, we’re working towards several initiatives with the goal of improving the digital accessibility of our tools and products.
- Ensuring accessibility acceptance criteria is part of user stories for new features.
- Partnering with clients early on to clarify and outline best practices for accessibility.
- Developing design systems and building reusable UI components that are accessible.
- Adding automated checks and tools to catch issues before merging new code.
- Working with experts to conduct audits and understand where we stand.
- Building empathy among employees to understand and use assistive tools.
Wunderkind continues to be a leader in the digital accessibility space by improving user experiences and simplifying barriers for people with disabilities in our increasingly digital world. Since welcoming onboard our accessibility analyst in April this year, there’s a lot of work to be done, but we’re making a huge amount of progress.
With an estimated one billion people with disabilities worldwide, we strive to meet the challenge of unlocking possibilities for those affected, by creating a website that allows us to live in our diverse realities.