Forrester released The Wave: Digital Accessibility Platforms, Q4 2023 in October 2023 and included UsableNet among the providers evaluated.
The report praised UsableNet's fully managed service, UsableNet Assistive, by saying: "UsableNet has long focused on helping companies with accessibility remediation and maintenance, offering a fully managed service popular with mid-market and enterprise businesses."
As part of evaluating the digital accessibility provider landscape, Forrester identified UsableNet AQA as the "only platform that allows users to request and configure a user test directly from the platform, and the reports clients receive from these tests are robust and easy to consume."
Key Findings from The Forrester Wave™: Digital Accessibility Platforms
- Organizations are prioritizing digital accessibility. As they navigate this transition, many organizations require a vendor capable of providing significant support initially, offering them options to gradually transition to handling it in-house.
- Forrester recognized UsableNet for the popularity of our fully managed service for mid-market and enterprise, plus our ability to adapt its services according to a client's evolving needs. These findings add significant credibility to Assistive and AaaS as a practical approach to digital accessibility.
Why Digital Accessibility is a Priority Now
According to Forrester, Digital accessibility is increasingly recognized as a priority by businesses. As this shift unfolds, many organizations are still in the early stages of accessibility maturity, grappling with the challenges of transitioning from a reactive to a proactive approach
At UsableNet, we've seen this shift firsthand. In 2000, we created some of the first tools and platforms to make websites accessible and usable for all people. At that time, we worked with government agencies, universities, and corporations in those early aughts.
This has changed over time. At UsableNet today, our clients searching for accessibility solutions range from Fortune 1000 companies to small and medium enterprises, government, and education organizations across retail and e-commerce, travel, hospitality, food services, automotive, financial services, and healthcare.
A few of the events at work that brought digital accessibility to the forefront for organizations:
- In the past five years, ADA website accessibility lawsuits have grown significantly and raised awareness for digital accessibility.
- The pandemic and lockdown moved many businesses online and further increased the need for accessibility. At UsableNet, we've written extensively about the business case for accessibility.
- In recent years, Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) programs have grown in popularity, with about six in ten workers saying their company has some DEI hiring practices, according to a 2023 Pew Research report.
This combination created an environment where digital accessibility has become critical to business.
About The Wave
A Forrester Wave "guides buyers in considering their purchasing options in a technology marketplace." The Wave results are from the analysis and opinion of Forrester as a respected third party. Concerning the Wave released on digital accessibility, the main objective is to assess the existing market of digital accessibility providers.
The Wave does not include all companies in a given market. So, the Q4 2023 report does not include all vendors in the digital accessibility space. Instead, Forrester evaluated only eight, notable vendors and their technology solutions, assigning rankings focusing on the idea that larger enterprises should integrate accessibility throughout their workflow. Their evaluation highlighted vendors and platforms that cater to companies looking to manage all aspects of accessibility internally.
One note from Gina Bhawalkar, the Principal Analyst for the report on digital accessibility, is that all providers included in the assessment are not apples to apples. In her featured blog to announce the report's release, Bhawalkar explains that the digital accessibility providers assessed by Forrester differ in focus and approach. She describes some solutions that concentrate on helping teams proactively prevent accessibility issues. Others have services that specialize in tackling the significant effort required during digital accessibility remediation.
Some companies included in the report, like UsableNet, focus on accessibility as a company mission and the goal of services and technology. Others have accessibility features within other offerings that are more generally focused on digital content.
The UsableNet Difference
UsableNet is the leading vendor with a fully managed remediation service. UsableNet is also the only vendor with a platform that includes users with disability's feedback and reviews directly into reports.
At UsableNet, we dedicate our mission and efforts to ensuring that websites, applications, and various digital platforms are more accessible, inclusive, and user-friendly for all individuals. Leveraging technology, extensive expertise, ongoing innovation, and cooperation with the disability community, we assist businesses in enhancing their digital content to serve customers with disabilities better.
Learning from the Forrester Wave
One of the standout highlights from Forrester's review was their acknowledgment of UsableNet's versatility. The report emphasized that most companies need a vendor to help do the heavy lifting (remediation) at the start and have options to transition into doing it themselves over time.
Addressing our AQA's user experience, Forrester identified areas for enhancement, and we are proud to note that initiatives to refine this interface were already in motion before the report, and we're excited for the forthcoming version due for release. We regularly release updates to our automated accessibility solution to enhance the experience for all our users. Such updates prioritize client feedback that will assist all our clients in making fundamental progress toward achieving their accessibility benchmarks and goals.
The Forrester Wave recognizes UsableNet as a notable provider for its technology and services that adapt to our client's needs and accessibility goals over time.
Looking to the Future
UsableNet has a comprehensive managed remediation service that is a pivotal foundation for businesses at the onset of their accessibility journey. With services that can evolve in line with a company's growth, we promise continuous support and cutting-edge tools. Finally, the emphasis on user-driven testing via the UsableNet platform, bolstered by detailed reporting capabilities, makes our solution a top choice for businesses.
Forrester's acknowledgment of UsableNet reinforces our commitment to remain an unwavering accessibility partner for businesses worldwide.