When organisations decide to refresh their website they usually focus on factors such as positive brand imaging and deciding what information is the most important. So the idea of involving users at any point can be a bit scary. What if they want to change things? What if all our brand work is undone? Can we really afford the time to do it?
The bottom line is that if you don’t involve users from the outset then your website will receive less traffic. Being willing to accept feedback, particularly on accessibility, gives all website visitors a good experience. And don’t assume your web designer has all this in hand. Very few home pages are accessible in spite of legislation requiring this.
The W3C Web Accessibility Initiative has a toolkit to guide web designers AND organisations through the process of involving users. The toolkit includes a one minute video of why designers should include users from the outset. The material is focused on users rather than technical aspects. It helps avoid some of the pitfalls and at the same time improve general usability for everyone.
The toolkit is extensive and each section is downloadable separately. The title is, Involving users in Evaluation Web Accessibility.