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Two Essential Requirements for a website in 2019

By Darren Carlin in Technology on June 20th, 2019

Accessibility

For the past several years it has been well established that your website must perform optimally on all devices. This is known as ‘Responsive Web Design,’ and it is now the accepted norm for a modern webpage. More recently though, accessibility to all users (i.e. those with cognitive, auditory, visual, or other physical limitations) has begun to creep up and become the new RWD for web developers.

It is not just important but essential to have a website that satisfies WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) to a minimum degree. Some examples of individuals who would benefit from WCAG include users with motor difficulties who have to use a keyboard to navigate a website, or someone with visual limitations who might need a substantial contrast ratio between foreground and background colours in order to make the text legible to them. At dazzle works we are committed to providing the best user experience possible and always implement the relevant portions of the World Wide Web Consortium’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1 Level AA (WCAG 2.1 AA) or higher on our websites.

Accessibility has many facets and is an ongoing process, so it’s beneficial to provide an ‘Accessibility Statement’ on your website. This lets your users know that you care about their experience while also giving them the opportunity to provide feedback. As standard we provide one of these statements on all our websites. 

Privacy

GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) came into effect on the 25th of May 2018. It is Europe’s digital privacy legislation and it applies to any company or organisation within the EU which offers goods or services. In essence it puts the responsibility of data protection onto the entity collecting the information. 

At dazzle works the websites we create for our Starter and Dynamic plans generally don’t store sensitive information other than email and phone numbers. Usually, through a contact form for your users, this information is simply stored in the email account associated with your website. Our Growth plan however extends to an e-commerce platform and email marketing which will inevitably store further user information, other than the aforementioned.

Cookie consent has been a consequential effect of GDPR, meaning that you now need to explicitly gain consent from your user in order to store cookies (text files which store a user’s usage data) in their browser. You may have noticed the notifications associated with this have become quite a common occurrence on websites. The main cookies we store are either through Google Analytics or shopping cart persistence on our e-commerce offering. We anonymise IP information when collecting Google Analytics statistics, meaning that we technically don’t need to provide a cookie consent form for this scenario (such as in our Starter and Dynamic plans). However, when we do ask for cookie consent, as required by our Growth plan webpages, it is always included in the most unobtrusive way possible, so as not to detract from user experience. 

In these cases, providing a ‘privacy policy’ page is a professional requirement which provides your users with information on the data you collect/store, why you store it, and what your user can do about it. We also provide one of these as standard based on the information you choose to collect.

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Author: Darren is the founder and lead developer at dazzle works. He's from Waterford but lives all over, currently in NYC consuming way too much coffee and pizza.

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