Companies have harnessed human-centered design and design thinking to craft more engaging digital experiences, the better to remain competitive in an era dominated by snazzy websites and slick mobile applications.
But as enterprises embark on this journey many fail to make their products accessible for users with disabilities, thus opening themselves up to risks, including litigation by disabled persons and opportunistic law firms alike, as well as losing out on top tech talent, experts say.
The stakes are high at a time when the coronavirus pandemic sees more people going online and downloading mobile software to transact with brands. Fortunately, companies have a path forward in inclusive design, which incorporates diversity and inclusion (D&I) principles to ensure digital accessibility.
“Inclusive design’s time has come,” says Jonathan Hassell, founder and CEO of Hassell Inclusion, a consultancy that consults brands on inclusive design and digital accessibility. “If you’re a CIO there’s a huge amount to be thinking about.”