Accessibility is important for businesses of all shapes and sizes, and many of our clients come to us after realizing that their online presence needs assistance in improving access to all users.
Jazzercise is one of our clients who fits that description. They have an enormous, complex online presence, which their customers heavily depend on to do everything from sign up for classes and view schedules to start and pay for memberships.
In this case study, we share why Jazzercise shifted their focus to prioritize accessibility, the results they saw, and how you can get started optimizing your own site.
ADA-based Website and App lawsuits hit all time highs in in 2018 and 2019. While retailers and restaurants have made the news for big name cases and large numbers of filings, no industry is exempt.In 2018 the Fitness & Wellness industry saw a surge of filings in federal court.
Fast-forward to the first few months of 2020 and this industry had already received lawsuits. Overall ADA Website and App lawsuit numbers are still keeping up their record 2019 pace of one lawsuit filed for every working hour.
With such an extensive online presence that was being used to regularly engage and connect with more than its 250,000 customers, Jazzercise knew that it needed to preemptively take the leap to ensure that its site was accessible.
Not only would this mean that all customers would be able to use their site, but it would also protect Jazzercise from legal action.
It’s important to consider that accessibility has become even more important since the coronavirus outbreak. As more consumers and even employees are forced to only interact with brands online; issues with accessibility become glaringly obvious.
Jazzercise hired UsableNet for a combination of expertise and technology that included manual testing, automation, developer tools, and support.
What to Look For
When UsableNet came into the picture, we first identified what impacted the user experience most significantly and started there. This is typically a good place to begin your accessibility efforts to make the biggest impact right away.
Here are a few things that businesses should be looking for:
- Are customers easily able to access important information, regardless of disability? This includes information that may require logins.
- Is it easy for all customers to understand the structure of the page, and to navigate it even if they’re unable to use a physical mouse? Your site should be fully accessible with only a keyboard. You want to watch for keyboard traps, that prevent users from accessing the full site properly.
- Do your images have alternative text that convey important information for those with screen readers?
- Have you included high-quality captions, subtitles, and/or text transcripts for every video so that those with screen-readers can consume the content?
- Is your focus indicator visible? If not, it needs to be.
- Do you have a lack of structure in the headings, which are only used for stylish (as opposed to semantic) purposes? If so, this needs to be adjusted.
After the first audit and with support from UsableNet’s experts, Jazzercise’s remediation resolved ~70% of the issues within the first six months.
“We’ve had tremendous success with UsableNet’s tools. Our sites are now accessible, and we’ve achieved a roughly 20% increase on our success criteria score across the board.” – Jeff Uyemura, Digital Manager at Jazzercise
Jazzercise made their commitment to these efforts in 2018, and with lawsuits continuing to rise, it was perfect timing. Jazzercise was also in a good position to handle the increased online traffic brought by more worldwide customers accessing their website in 2020.
How You Can Get Started
Review the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) to understand guidelines, technical specifications, and more regarding online accessibility. You’ll need to assess accessibility of your entire online presence, including your website and mobile app.
If you’re struggling, you can find a Website accessibility partner to help.
Want to learn more about the specific steps and changes Jazzercise made to increase accessibility on their site? Download the case study.