Glance for Everyone: Three Accessibility Best Practices for Digital Customer Experience

Accessibility

At Glance, bringing people together in digital spaces is what we do. Guided CX (customer experience) solutions by Glance are used to transform any digital space a company manages into a place for the company’s agents to connect directly, person-to-person, with their customers.

Glance believes, along with so many of the awesome companies we work with, that broadening the accessibility of digital spaces helps to ensure a great customer experience for everyone. Like our customers, we know that diversity is at the core of strength; and that acceptance, empowerment, and holding space for everyone, with dignity, means bringing people together no matter what our differences may be. 

That’s why Glance seeks to ensure the accessibility of our software to the best of our ability. But we do more than hope our technology works for as many people as possible. We build it into our development and testing processes. 

For Accessibility Month this May, we are sharing three accessibility best practices that Glance adopts to help ensure the accessibility of our software for as many people as possible: 

1 – Know the Industry’s Standards

Product development and/or web development teams need to know the industry standards in order to meet them. 

In Glance’s case, our standard is the industry standard: Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 AA, which covers a wide range of recommendations for making software content more accessible. WCAG 2.1 AA specifies requirements for visual presentation (color, contrast, logotypes), mobile devices, keyboard accessibility, compatibility with most screen-reader technologies, and more. 

Following the WCAG guideline makes digital content more accessible to a wider range of people at any ability level. Glance makes every effort to provide software that is accessible to the widest possible audience, regardless of technology or ability, which is why we seek to ensure our software complies with WCAG 2.1 AA accessibility standards.

In a recent release of Glance, launched this past March, more complete accessibility for Agents and Guests – in compliance with WCAG 2.1 AA standards – was added to existing Glance accessibility features already in compliance for the Visitor experience. 

Watch our upcoming webinar on launching your Accessibility program with our partners at TPGi:

2 – Seek Objective Guidance

Glance is independently tested and reviewed for accessibility conformance with WCAG 2.1 AA by a third-party accessibility solution provider with years of experience and expertise. While WCAG attempts to encapsulate every possible known way to help someone with a disability at the AA level, our third-party expert evaluates the requirements that apply to our software uniquely. 

The company we work with underwrites Glance’s VPAT – or, Voluntary Product Accessibility Template – the document that shows every line item of WCAG 2.1 AA that Glance solutions need to be accountable for to ensure their compliance. 

And while automated software testing is also used throughout product development here at Glance, automated solutions only offer a binary yes/no answer to whether code meets accessibility standards. We know that people can determine better than software can whether standards are “just met”, or whether they are met in the right ways. 

For example, software can easily automate a check for whether or not an image has an alt tag. But to determine if the content of that alt tag is understandable for people who need it (for example, does it simply say, “image”, or does it actually explain what the image shows?) requires an objective third party with expertise evaluating the experience to be sure it meets accessibility standards.

3 – Test As You Innovate

Third-party certification also helps your development teams as you continue to update and improve on your website or application. As Glance adds new features for Visitors, Agents, and Guests, we test with automated software and our external accessibility partner that new features maintain standards of accessibility to the best of our ability. 

As a recommendation to the companies that work with Glance, it’s important to note that, while Glance out-of-the-box is strictly adherent to these guidelines, Glance is also highly configurable, allowing the companies we work with to create unique experiences for their users. 

Even when it comes to something as seemingly minor as color, small changes can make a big difference in accessibility. As we work with companies to create and configure a Glance experience suited to their customers’ needs, we recommend that, like Glance, those companies leverage in-house and/or third-party evaluations of their digital experiences, including their implementation of our guided CX solutions, to ensure that any configuration changes maintain accessibility for users of many different ability levels.

Customer Experience for All

Accessibility impacts customer experience, because no one – from visitors to your digital properties, to agents of your company – should feel excluded from your company’s offerings. Connecting, belonging, and building relationships between customers and the companies who serve them is why Glance is here. And it’s why we prioritize digital accessibility across our product offerings – and why we encourage you to do the same.

Photo by Elizabeth Woolner on Unsplash

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