As technology continues to evolve, so do the expectations for digital accessibility. Technology has grown from a source of entertainment to a tool we deeply rely on for everyday life. Whether that be for work capabilities or for navigating the world around us. Our tech and gadgets are a part of our daily lives, and we are looking forward to the exciting advancements they may bring us. In 2024, we will be following along closely to several key trends that are expected to shape the future of an inclusive digital experience for all users. Having a comprehensive understanding of these emerging trends is essential for staying ahead in the digital space and being able to provide the best experience for all user needs. Let us explore the projected digital accessibility trends that are anticipated to emerge or further develop in 2024.
Stricter Web Accessibility Standards
The implementation of web accessibility standards has been a great step towards making the online experience a more welcoming and accessible environment for all users and has in turn given exposure to the importance of digital accessibility by giving a voice to a large percentage of users who have been often left out of the target audience scope. With a better understanding of digital accessibility growing as a society, it would be fair to assess the expansion of those standards to extend to other facets that affect the user’s experience and determine web accessibility such as digital designs, (UX) designs, and even the capabilities of screen readers.
Augmented Reality (AR)
Progressive Web Apps (PWA)
Websites and applications both have their pros and cons when it comes to being accessible. Intentionally or not Progressive Web Apps seem to be combining the best of both worlds and may prove to make a significant stride in digital accessibility. Simply put Progressive Web Apps are websites that look and behave like mobile apps. They will have responsive design, installation straight from the browser, faster loading times, automatic updates, and so much more. Now, how will these functions benefit all users? Responsive design adjusts the website content for various screen sizes reflowing the content to an easier reading order which goes hand in hand with the accessibility of a website. Installation straight from the browser as well as automatic updates simplifies the user experience by avoiding having to open an additional tab or application each time an update or installation is required. And finally, one important ease of access that apps provide users that websites do not is being able to access the application straight from the home screen with Progressive Web Apps you will now be able to have an app icon on the device once the software is installed.
Overall, 2024 promises to be an exciting year for digital accessibility with new technologies, trends and the hard-working people behind those advancements paving the way for a more inclusive, accessible, and equitable future.