The Internet has developed with tremendous rapidity over the years. Today, companies see the World Wide Web as a great tool to promote themselves. Here, the stress is characteristically given to building visually striking sites designed to impact the viewer. High-profile websites require great control over the presentation of the webpage and due to the competency of HTML and Cascading Style Sheets companies are delivering content their marketing deserves.
However, as website designers produce what must be displayed in complete terms, people with disabilities are affected. For example, users with poor vision require the capacity to organize what size text can be available in their browser. This breaks up the design of the page and defeats the web designer's original aim.
Generally, people do not have accessibility requirements. Thus, it is of no surprise that most designers are not trained in them. Also, interfaces implemented without allowing for accessibility needs are more impressive looking, and companies generally do not have an accessibility version of their website. Those organisations providing accessibility versions do it at extra cost by building a wholly separate user interface.
Concomitant to the moral and commercial reasons for offering accessible websites, the Disability Discrimination Act defines a legal prerequisite in this regard that all companies must conform with. Therefore, to provide an accessible user interface is a must for all organisations; there is no other alternative in this regard.
Today, users demand extremely effective and user-friendly interfaces; so developers are now realizing the crucial role that interfaces plays. According to surveys, 50% of the programming and design effort is dedicated to interface. Also, the human-computer interface is vital to the products' success in the marketplace, apart from the usefulness, safety, and enjoyment of using computer-based systems.
There is considerable experiential evidence that using the processes and techniques developed by the HCI fraternity can radically decrease costs and increase output. One study reported savings through the deployment of usability engineering of $41,700 in a small-sized application used by about 23,000 marketing personnel, and $6,800,000 for a big-scale business application that was being used by 240,000 employees. Savings were credited to lesser task time, smaller number of errors, greatly reduced user disturbance, less burden on support staff, removal of training etc. [Nielsen 1]. A usability analysis of a projected workstation save a telephone company an amazing $2 million annually in operating costs [Gray 1]. A mathematical model founded on eleven studies shows that using software that has been tested through usability engineering can save $39,000, $613,000 and $8,200,000 for a small, medium and large project respectively. [Nielsen 2}]. Another study found that by estimating all the costs connected with usability engineering, benefits can go up to 5000 times the cost [Nielsen 2].
However, there are well known