Usability Matters – just ask Target

Millions of people use the internet on a daily basis and a large percentage of them have disabilities that affect the way they view and use websites.  So if your website doesn’t cater for these consumers, you are missing out on their money.  And they spend alot – billions each year in fact.

Many websites and website developers have usability standards in place to ensure that the software that disabled people use to browse the internet can work effectivey with their site.  Websites that meet W3C standards (like those of all our members) can be used by disabled people, which is why it’s so important to make sure your website developer is W3C compliant.

If a disabled person can’t use your website, they will probably just leave and find one they can use.  But sometimes, you can end up in court – which is what happened to Target in the US.

After consumers and the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) complained to Target about the fact that their website couldn’t be used by blind people and Target refused to make the site more usable, the NFB brought a class action lawsuit against Target.  This case has been going on since 2006, but just a few weeks ago Target finally settled the case by paying out US$6 million to a fund for those affected by the inaccessibility of the site.

For a big company like Target, that money wouldn’t be a big deal but the case sets an important precedent for other companies and shows just how important it is that all websites meet usability standards.

Check out the WSA usability standards to see if your website complies.  If it doesn’t, take the standards to your website developer and ask them to get your site up to scratch.

Read more about the Target case here.