Accessibility in design is a crucial topic to tackle for SaaS owners because it directly impacts the quality of your customer experience. To make your design journey easier we’ve put together our thoughts on accessibility from a UX design perspective.
The disability market in 2023 and what that means for SaaS accessibility
The disability market is estimated at 1.85 Billion people, a sector worth £168 Trillion (USD 1.9 Trillion). Their families and friends make up another 3.4 Billion in global purchasing opportunities. What does that mean for SaaS companies?
It means if you aren’t creating inclusive immersion experiences within your product, you cut yourself off from a market the size of China and the European Union combined. Essentially, that’s a heck of a lot of people!
The digital world is littered with accessibility problems which cause purchasing barriers for this group of society. The Web Accessibility In Mind project looked at 1 million website home pages and found that:
- 5.3% of home page elements had accessibility errors
- 96.8% of those pages’ content also failed basic accessibility requirements set out in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)
Common problems include:
- Low contrast text
- Missing alternative text for images
- Empty links and buttons
- Missing form input labels and document language
- Overly complicated language
Given this is happening on websites it’s safe to say that SaaS products also fall short because they are created in similar ways. There are plenty of examples of this if you look for them.
You’ve probably come across one yourself – an app that looks great but wasn’t great to engage with. And that’s the problem: the aesthetic has come before user functionality.
How accessibility impacts customer experience (CX)
Inclusive accessibility is about a person’s ability to successfully engage and complete tasks to the same level of completeness as any other person. This inclusivity must cover anyone who suffers from an impairment of any kind or circumstance.
If your user cannot interact with your SaaS product to complete their tasks, then they are going to bounce away. That might mean a failure to subscribe or complete the signup. It might also mean they churn, failing to continue their subscription with you. Their opinion will also be pretty obvious in their reviews and brand interactions too.
This makes CX a pretty big deal when it comes to how your software functions and your monthly recurring revenue (MRR).
Why your current SaaS accessibility sucks!
There can be lots of telltale signs that your SaaS accessibility isn’t inclusive, but it all comes back to your approach to UX design and UI design in your consideration of CX. If you haven’t understood who your user is, what their interactive patterns are and considered how to make their tasks quick and simple to complete, then you have a problem.
We talked about this recently in our guide to, “How good UX improves SaS user productivity and engagement”.
What your customers are looking for in accessibility
When we consider accessibility design we need to include thoughts for those with hearing, visual, cognitive and motor impairments. Within each of these areas, we also need to understand if our user is permanently, temporarily or situationally disabled.
Let’s give you a couple of examples.
Imagine your SaaS app is a tool to help new mothers track their baby’s sleep and feeding patterns. You might not initially consider accessibility to be an issue for this demographic, but situationally it is because nine times out of ten mum will have a baby in her arms as she uses your app. If buttons and links are too small mum is going to find it difficult to take her next step in the app.
If in-app content is long-winded or complicated she isn’t going to have the mental space to concentrate, so she’ll drop the app and forget to come back to it later.
Here’s another example.
Imagine your SaaS app is chat software aimed at connecting families. We’ve seen plenty of examples of this on the market. You will need to consider how functional that app will be for lots of different use cases.
That’ll mean making it easy to use for Uncle Jack, who has just had a nasty fall, Lottie who has just had a baby, Callie who is still learning to use her first phone at age 9 and Nan with her cataracts. This means considerations for permanent, temporary and situational impairments.
Functionality and your response to it underpin everything your user is looking for.
Our top tips for using your UX design to impact SaaS accessibility
Here are our top tips for your UX consideration.
- Talk to your users – It has to start here, so make sure you ask specifics to understand your demographic and their interactive patterns.
- Streamline the user flow – Make your user’s problem easy to solve by navigating as few pages as possible to complete a task.
- Think content and page structure – Simple, but beautiful layouts with concise and compelling content keep your user engaged for longer.
- Think contrast – Consider how your users see and react to colour. Those who are colour-blind or have limited sight will rely on helpful contrasts.
- Highlight the next step – Make it very clear what the next action is on each page.
- Make CTAs easy to take – Use contextual links that compel the intuitive nature of your user.
- Consider your touch targets – Make them big enough for your user to use on any device. Your user shouldn’t have to switch devices or orientation to complete a task.
- Consider the keyboard user – Create navigation that can be followed using the keyboard on desktops. Depending on the use of your app you might also consider single-key shortcuts to make task completion simpler still.
- Limit unnecessary or flashing animation – Users shouldn’t need to experience a disco of animated content or calls to action, so make sure you limit what you use and how you use it.
- Improve video and audio quality – Video and audio content needs to be presented at the highest quality possible.
Let our UX design team improve your SaaS accessibility experience
Here at Strafe, we have an expert team of UX designers, each making a positive impact on the SaaS products we work with. We would love to help you remaster your product to hit your user’s accessibility requirements. All you need to do is drop your project details into our planner and we’ll be in touch!