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Save money by making your website accessible from the start


Line graph showing cost of remediating bugs increasing at each stage of the development process

“There’s just no room in the budget for accessibility.”

The next time you hear that sentence, tell that person that they’ve already wasted their money.

Ignoring accessibility today will cost dividends tomorrow. Making accessible design and code means making robust and sound design and code. From a design perspective, it means creating designs that follow a logical, thoughtful pattern. For developers, accessible code often means using native HTML. Doing so means that future designers and developers who pick up this project later will have an easier time understanding what decisions were made and how to easily build upon the existing designs or codebase. Technical debt, be gone!

Deciding to tack on accessibility later can also mean inflating costs that could have been mitigated early on. Finding out at the end of a build that a component isn’t keyboard accessible can mean a complete re-write of the component. If the layout of a page doesn’t have a logic focus order, it means going back to the drawing board to create new wireframes, which in turn has ripple effects on every part of the development lifecycle. Only found out at the end that colours don’t meet contrast levels? Try having that conversation with the big-wigs to decide on a new colour scheme!

Inaccessible sites are costly in other ways, too. If a user can’t access the information they came to your website for, you might end up losing that customer entirely. Worldwide, over a billion people have some form of disability and spend half a trillion dollars annually. That’s a half-a-trillion-dollar-pie that you’re not getting a piece of. If you’re part of a government organisation or at an organisation where a user can’t simply walk away, they might choose to phone, email or turn up in person. Those are the expensive alternatives that websites are designed specifically to minimize.

In contrast, implementing accessibility early on is the best way to take care of your budget. We call this concept shifting left – move the onus of accessibility earlier on (left) in the development lifecycle. The earlier accessibility is considered and embedded, the earlier that bugs can be spotted and remediated.

So, the next time someone tells you they’re not prioritizing money for accessibility, ask them: when do you want to find your accessibility bugs?

Catalyst can support you through your entire accessibility journey. Find out more about our accessibility services and get in touch here: