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Since end of 2017, Volksbank is offering its clients a new digital banking. Besides a range of new and innovative functions and solutions, the new banking solution is also accessible for all humankind. USECON supported Volksbank within the process of applying to Accessibility guidelines in a consultative capacity and with the conduction of User Tests.
The new online banking was implemented on the basis of Accessibility guidelines (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines – WCAG2.0) and should give people with disabilities unlimited access. In the course of this optimization, USECON gathered feedback from blind and visually impaired people (Accessibility User Tests) and evaluated the new digital banking from an expert’s view (Accessibility Review).
In a multi-stage process, the feedback gathered from the User Tests and the Expert Review was integrated into the online banking of Volksbank in 2017. In addition, the identified measurements had been quality-assured by the Austrian Federation of the Blind and Partially Sighted (BSVÖ).
For the optimal usage of a screen reader (reading software for blind and visually impaired, people) we improved the menu navigation, the navigation, tables and interaction elements. Moreover, users are being supported by a version with high color contrast (background and text have a high contrast ratio in accordance to Accessibility guidelines) and audio-visual account statements.
An expert evaluation helps to identify and solve the biggest problems beforehand. For fine adjustments, User Tests with blind and visually impaired users are a very helpful tool to optimize the application as accessible as possible.
The system requirements are strongly linked to the needs of every single user – 100% of accessibility is impossible to reach. Due to the combination of Expert Reviews and Accessibility Tests we were able to identify and improve the biggest accessibility barriers.
It is by law since 1.1.2016 that all products and services, which are offered publicly, have to be also accessible for people with disabilities. This was one of the reasons why Volksbank asked USECON for Accessibility support and why they are now able to provide an accessible online banking to their customers.
Besides meeting the regulatory requirements, Volksbank is now supporting all humankind with this optimization. A version rich in contrast also supports users who are using the digital banking on their mobile devices if the interface needs to be read out in sunshine.
The output of audio-visual account statements supports people who are not able to look at the screen (e.g. when driving a car). These two everyday examples show that an optimization regarding Accessibility guidelines makes sense for a much bigger target group than initially assumed.