Have you ever wondered how people who are blind use a computer and the internet? What about people that don’t have use of their arms? Ever stop to think of how people who are deaf are impacted by online videos and audio? Even common conditions like colorblindness, dyslexia, or ailments brought about by aging change how people interact with websites.
As a healthcare marketer, it’s important to ensure you’re providing the best user experience possible to all your site visitors. Here’s just some of the reasons you should pay attention to your site’s accessibility practices.
Recently I had the privilege of attending An Event Apart in Chicago. After every conference I walk away with amazing ideas and new things to try, but Eric Meyer’s presentation “Designing for Crisis” hit home, hard.
Imagine you’re a parent. Your son or daughter is in a terrible accident on their way home from a school football game. You get a phone call saying your son or daughter is being transported to the nearest hospital (which you may or may not be familiar with) and that’s about all you know.
You’re in complete shock. You can hardly focus, tears streaming down your face as you imagine the worst. You have no idea where to go or what to do. All you want is to get to your child as fast as possible, but it’s late at night and everything in the hospital is closed. Where do you turn for answers?
Naturally, most of us would turn to the hospital’s website.
The beauty of the web is in its flexibility to transform to meet individuals’ needs. But it takes due diligence on our part as developers and content editors to make sure that content is provided in a way that assistive technologies can use to present the information in different ways. If done properly, this ensures that all information you provide on the web is available to everyone regardless of physical, cognitive, or technological limitations.
Healthcare systems are messy. Think about the growing number of different facilities and the departmental divisions that aren’t meaningful to patients but very meaningful internally. Consider the various groups battling with one another over the same patients, or the lack of a consistent philosophy and approach for a given service or procedure. It’s easy in the day-to-day operations of a health system to ignore the complexity of our organizations. I find that when we work on the website we’re pulling off the band-aid and exposing all of that mess.