Level Access’s design evaluations are a design-centric service, by designers for designers, that identify accessibility issues rooted in the design of websites or apps. Evaluating designs helps you catch accessibility issues early in the software development lifecycle. Preventing these issues from being built into your websites or apps mitigates risk and reduces costs for your organization.
According to our research, 41 of the 50 (82%) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 AA success criteria should be considered in the design phase, while another 6 of them (12%) should be considered in the content authoring stage. This means that design teams have accountability related to 94% of the WCAG success criteria. Yet, we still see many accessibility barriers in design systems. Design evaluations can help you create and maintain accessible digital experiences.
On this page:
- What is a design evaluation?
- What are the benefits?
- When should I use this service?
- How do I request this service?
- Learn more
What is a design evaluation?
A design evaluation is an analysis of the accessibility of your digital brand and / or interface designs. The goal is to provide you with feedback and guidance that helps you incorporate accessible design into your digital brand styling and into your everyday design practices. Your digital brand and / or interface designs may include newly designed screens, views, pages, and / or components.
Level Access currently offers 2 types of design evaluations: a digital brand evaluation and an interface design evaluation.
Digital brand evaluation
A digital brand evaluation is an analysis of the accessibility of an organization's digital brand. The Digital brand evaluation report provides feedback and guidance to help you incorporate accessible design into the foundation of your digital brand styling. We recommend conducting a digital brand evaluation before you create wireframes or user interface designs that rely on the atomic elements from your brand guidelines. If you’re already past this point, that’s okay. You can request a digital brand evaluation at any time. The most critical aspects of the evaluation are:
- Color and contrast
- Typeface elements (headings, fonts, spacing, etc.)
- Core functional elements (buttons, links, etc.)
Interface design evaluation
An interface design evaluation is an analysis of the accessibility of your newly designed screens, views, pages, and / or components. The Interface design evaluation report provides feedback and guidance to help you incorporate accessibility requirements into your everyday design practices. This type of evaluation accepts the following design artifacts:
- User interface designs (comps, mockups, etc.)
- Component designs / pattern libraries / design systems
What are the benefits?
Whether you have just one design evaluation or a series of cadenced evaluations, design evaluations are a proactive approach to incorporating accessibility into your software development lifecycle. This mitigates risk and reduces costs by:
- Reducing the number of issues identified during automated scans and manual reviews of in-development products.
- Reducing recurring issues.
- Reducing the workload associated with remediating issues.
However, designing with accessibility in mind isn’t just about reducing risk and costs. It also has a number of very positive organizational benefits such as:
- Creating more inclusive digital experiences and as a result, more marketable websites or apps.
- Having more knowledgeable and experienced design teams that create inclusive digital experiences and as a result, more efficient individuals and teams.
When should I use this service?
We can conduct design evaluations at any time during the software development lifecycle but it makes the most impact before you write the code. The biggest benefit to design evaluations is catching accessibility issues as early as possible, so design evaluations are most beneficial when you’re planning a redesign, rebrand, or launch of a website or app.
How do I request this service?
- Request a design evaluation
- Use design evaluation results
- Understand design evaluation finding types
For questions about your design evaluation results, request support from a technical accessibility expert.
To get started with an evaluation, request a design evaluation.