Webcredible, a web usability and accessibility consultancy based in London, has just published a survey of the accessibility of 20 of the top UK retailers. For the record the top five were: H. Samuel, HMV, B&Q, John Lewis and Argos, all with scores in the 70s, and the bottom five were: Currys, Early Learning Centre, Debenhams, Boots and WH Smith, with scores below 41.
The results indicate that some companies now understand the importance of accessibility whilst others have still not got the message. The message is that accessibility is important because:
- Social responsibility includes supporting people with disabilities.
- The disabled population of the UK has an estimated combined spending power of up to £80 billion.
- Internet shopping will often be easier and more convenient than bricks-and-mortar shopping.
- Sites designed to be accessible to people with disabilities have been shown to be more usable, leading to an increased spend on the site. See report to anyone who is interested in creating accessible websites. The report is delivered as a pdf document and it is good to see that it is also accessible.