Accessibility NextGen: Setting a Site Target to reach your accessibility goal

Modified on: Mon, 11 Oct, 2021 at 2:11 PM

Now that web accessibility is a priority for your organization, we can help.  For each of your websites, you can set a unique target for web accessibility conformance (WCAG) and best practices that reflect your organization’s accessibility goals.

What is the Site Target?

The Site Target is a new feature that has been added to the Accessibility Score, which is part of the overall DCI score.    

Its purpose is to allow administrators to customize the view within the platform – displaying only the list of issues and potential issues that are relevant to your organization’s internal goal for accessibility, whether strictly compliance with WCAG or adoption of best practices for design, content, and development.

The Site Target is meant as a supplement to the DCI score, turning it into a progress tool that feels relevant to your individual organization.  While the DCI works well for benchmarking - in comparing your organization to others in the industry - it doesn’t reflect the actual goal many organizations have now set for themselves.

With a site target set, your organization can work focused on your specific compliance goals, while still seeing it in relation to the total DCI.

How do I set a Site Target?

Select the “Set a Target” button next to the Accessibility Score dial on the Accessibility Overview page.

It will launch an overlay, showing the Accessibility Score dial with your current score, and the “site target” is represented as a small icon, a “target crosshair”, that sits across the dial. The icon will move along the dial as you set the parameters below.

There are two options to select for your target:

  • WCAG Conformance: Levels A, AA, and AAA
  • Best Practices: ARIA, Siteimprove

Note: In Accessibility: NextGen, the DCI score is now comprised of 90 points awarded for WCAG conformance (Levels A, AA, and AAA), with the remaining 10 points gained for the use of accessibility best practices.  

Choose your options and select “Cancel” or “Save”.

Set Accessibility Target video

Video Transcript file (.docx): Using NextGen Accessibility: Site Targets

What happens after I set the Site Target?

Once set, the target icon is always visible to your team.  As you are selecting the options, you will see the target move - it is represented as a small icon in the shape of a ‘target’ crosshair that appears along the circular dial of your DCI score for Accessibility. 

Once the target is set for a site, only issues and potential issues that are related to your goal will be visible in the platform.

What are the Best Practice checks?

ARIA Best Practices. These checks help track the quality implementation of ARIA – ensuring it’s correctly implemented and used.

Siteimprove Best Practices. Checks related to content and code that have a significant impact on user experience but are not covered by WCAG. These include best practices that have been adopted by experts within the accessibility development and design community as an extension of the published web content accessibility guidelines.

One example could be “Presentational image has accessible name” so critical information about the image is included in the description.  Another example is detecting the use of heading tags on a page (H1, H2, H3) which enable screen reader users to navigate a page much quicker.

Why you should include Accessibility best practices as a part of your target.

We understand that compliance with WCAG is likely your most important goal. However, we’ve also incorporated best practice checks into the DCI score because these have shown, through feedback from real users, to have a significant impact on user experience. The checks are designed to guide designers, developers, and content contributors in implementing accessible code and content correctly and consistently. 

When effort is made by your organization to make changes for accessibility, with our built-in best practice checks we are helping you to ensure these changes are effective. For this reason, we highly recommend adding best practices to your organization’s overall site target. 

Who can set a Site Target?

Setting a site target is restricted to account owners and administrators, while the target is visible to all users.

The Site Target can be edited and updated by the administrator at any time. Settings can be edited and changed, allowing other roles to also set the target.

Can the “target setting” apply to just one group within a site?

No, the target covers the whole site or URL.  It is not possible to have different targets within one site, with the reason that, ideally the entire website experience is meeting one level of conformance (or best practice). 

However, it is possible to have different site targets on an account.

What the benefits of setting a Site Target?

The Site target is meant as a supplement to the DCI score, turning it into a progress tool that feels relevant to the individual organization. While the DCI works well for benchmarking, i.e. comparing your organization to others in the industry, it doesn’t reflect the actual goal of many organizations.

With a site target set, the organization can work focused on its own specific compliance goal, while still seeing it in relation to the total DCI. 

Benefits include: 

  • A visual display of your accessibility goal inside the platform. The setting is clearly defined by the target icon on the DCI score and can be updated at any time.
  • A more customized feel. This way, the platform reflects your internal goals only and shows support for your organization’s Accessibility Statement or overall strategy for web accessibility.
  • Education on best practices to optimize user experience.  Accessibility checks are included and look for the best practices in the implementation of code and content, beyond basic WCAG conformance.
  • The ability to exclude WCAG Level AAA checks from view.  Most organizations are focused on Levels A and AA only.  Level AAA issues can be removed from your daily view of the platform.

What does Siteimprove recommend as a site target?

Siteimprove recommends fixing all WCAG compliance and best practices rules, but at the same time acknowledges that a lot of our customers are focusing on WCAG 2.1 AA.

More information about NextGen

Accessibility NextGen: Understanding the revised DCI® accessibility score

Visit this page for a full overview of the key features in NextGen.

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