I would like to fully agree with you Kevin Van Lierde, because indeed, managers and product owners often drive developers’ decisions. I actually updated that sentence to include them. That’s a very good point.

However… Those same people a good few years ago said there is no business logic behind making sites responsive. And I am not making this up. I’ve been told by clients and large companies back in the day, that responsive websites “don’t fit their business logic and brand”. What happened a few years after is great proof how wrong they were. Google shunned sites that aren’t mobile-friendly from mobile searches and rightfully so, and they were all like “OMG, this is such a disaster.” This WILL happen again.

Like it or not, search engines have immense power over how web technologies evolve. Both in the US and the EU there are laws around digital accessibility. In education and government it’s already a legal requirement, and I bet you anything that in a few years disabled people WILL convince governments to extend digital accessibility laws to virtually any web content. Parallel to that decision Google will decide that all sites or PWAs that aren’t accessible, get a worse ranking (why do you think they built Lighthouse?), and completely disappear from search results when a screen reader is on. And that’s when all the developers, managers and product owners who did’t see “the business logic” behind it all, will get the “I told you so” from me.

The bottom line is. There is plenty of business logic behind doing things the right way. If you go through the Udacity course I suggested in the article, you’ll see that accessibility doesn’t have to be this massive hurdle, and just by writing correct and semantic HTML and CSS, a lot can be achieved, and an accessible site improves the user experience for everyone. I was thinking of starting a series of articles just around accessibility. Thanks for proving me that I should indeed put my experience and expertise on “paper” so that I can encourage others to take accessibility miles more seriously.

Writer of code, blogs and things that live on the web. Pragmatic doer, Lego fan, Mac user, cool nerd. JavaScript and Flutter enthusiast. HMH.engineering editor.

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