4 Key Strategies for Accessible Deployment

Published April 14, 2023

The accessibility of a webpage or web-based product is a marker of a successful deployment strategy. It means that the widest potential client base can use the product. This includes those 26% of Americans with some form of disability. Organizations should do all they can to ensure the product is accessible by the time it reaches the deployment stage.

Deployment is important because it is when the reality of user experience tempers the accessibility of a product. Accessibility is not just a company’s responsibility in the drawing room stages. Once the product is deployed to the real world, the company still has to ensure its accessibility efforts are sustained.

In this piece, we will detail four key strategies that a business can use to make sure that the deployment stage of its products and platforms is accessible. 

Arrive prepared

As we alluded to earlier, successful deployment is the culmination of effective design and development processes. To ensure that the deployment of a product is accessible, it must be assured that the product has been designed and developed in an accessible way. 

For example, in the design stage, accessibility is ensured through accessible patterns and templates. As explained by Solo Press, accessible templates will hopefully create the necessary domino effect down to deployment. 

In the development stage, frequent automated testing can ensure accessible coding features, such as assistive device compatibility.

Another key part of deployment is to run through any final check for deficiencies or details that may need to be noticed. Accessibility is no exception in this regard. The best way to do this is through a final accessibility audit.

An accessibility audit is a process in which a company enlists the help of accessibility experts to assess its products. Audits are a part of the broader system of manual accessibility testing. In an audit, the subject matter experts will use the product or platform and take note of the product's achievements and shortcomings with regard to accessibility.  

By the time the product reaches the deployment stage, the product development team should have taken all of these steps. These steps are necessary to avoid discovering a missed step that might cost time and money to go back and fix. That said, one final check over is never a bad idea.

Adequately train deployment staff

If a company wants to commit to accessibility, all of its staff should receive adequate training. This includes the deployment staff. It’s an understandable mistake to think that accessibility should be prioritized by design and development staff. After all, it's in these stages that the relevant accessibility features are created, implemented, and tested.

However, deployment staff, such as customer support agents and marketing experts, also need accessibility training. This is because the job of deployment staff is to ensure the maintenance of the product’s goal and vision. 

Staff will be adequately educated on the product's accessibility features and how to effectively communicate these features to consumers by training in accessibility prior to launch.

Ensure an accessible launch

The deployment of a product is partially embodied by its launch. The launch date is when the product is officially made available to the public. Be it a new phone, a new app, or a software update, the launch is when all design efforts are put to the test. 

So what are ways that you can make the launch accessible?

For one thing, a company can ensure that any relevant marketing campaign for a product is accessible. We’ve gone into more detail on this topic in the past

As a refresher, some ways that a marketing campaign can be accessible include making sure that the ad content itself is accessible. This means ensuring necessary features like color ratios are accessible and that you use ads across as many mediums as possible. In other words, don’t rely solely on video content; use audio and text content. 

Using multiple mediums can help a company reach as wide a potential consumer base as possible. 

Another way to ensure an accessible launch is to provide all accessibility features are properly communicated in product promotion. By effectively demonstrating a product’s accessibility features, it will likely sway accessibility-minded users toward buying said product. 

Make sure accessibility is sustained

In the same way that accessibility should be embraced by a whole company, beyond any specific team, the accessibility of a product should last beyond its development life cycle. Part of accessible deployment is ensuring accessibility even after the product has reached the consumer. 

As we alluded to earlier, post-launch accessibility partly depends on the well-trained staff. 

Customer support representatives should have a near-expert knowledge of navigating and troubleshooting a product’s accessibility features. These could include activating audio descriptions, pairing with a screen reader, or enlarging text. 

Throughout the post-launch deployment, relevant staff should be taking note of customer feedback. This will help the organization assess the quality of product development life cycle choices.    

Conclusion

To ensure the accessibility of product deployment, it is essential to

  • Arrive prepared

  • Adequately train deployment staff

  • Ensure an accessible launch

  • Make sure accessibility is sustainable

These steps help ensure that the accessibility of a product can last beyond its development stages and continue for long-term user convenience. 

 

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