Accessible Web Design and Development

Web accessibility goes beyond legal requirements or ethical duty. An accessible website demonstrates your commitment to welcoming and serving every customer with equal respect and consideration. By ensuring your website is accessible, you not only broaden your audience reach but also enhance the user experience for all visitors, which can lead to increased customer loyalty and brand advocacy. For wineries, breweries, and distilleries aiming to stand out and create positive, inclusive brand perceptions, accessible web design and development are crucial.

Two flamboyantly dressed senior models posing against a red background, featuring colorful outfits and accessible accessories.

Craft digital spaces that welcome everyone

Accessibility isn’t a feature, an up-sell, a trend, or a passing phenomenon. And yet so many agencies treat it as such.

At 5forests, we take accessible web design and development seriously. We believe that websites should provide the same level of usability, functionality, and enjoyment to all people, regardless of their level of capability. Our designs adhere to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), ensuring that your website meets the latest standards for accessibility and is navigable and usable for users with various disabilities.

Designed for real people

5forests takes a ground-up approach to accessible design driven by how real people use the web. We go beyond the basics of WCAG guidelines to ensure that a technical “pass” doesn’t interference with practical site use. We prioritize intuitive navigation and clear layouts that allow all users to easily find information and explore your site, regardless of how they interact with your digital space.

And then we take it a step further, and help your inhouse team understand how they can make better decisions for a more inclusive web.

Tested by real people

Accessibility audits often rely on automated scans on your website to find what we call “low hanging fruit”. These can be very helpful to find and fix common mistakes, but they are far from comprehensive enough in the real world. We rely on the feedback from real users using real assistive technologies to enhance our web site builds.

Our development process includes thorough testing for keyboard navigation and screen reader compatibility, making sure users can access all site features without a mouse and that content is structured logically for screen readers.

Without accessibility overlays

You’ve seen these before: the “little man in a circle” icon floating on the bottom of a website. This is an accessibility overlay. At 5forests, we don’t believe in using these, and industry experts agree with our point of view. While overlays can be convenient as a temporary measure, they are not adequate for long term compliance, they do not help real people, and they do not make your website accessible.

We’re always improving

Accessibility is a moving target, and that’s not a bad thing. The web is always improving its understanding of assistive technologies, how they react to real world scenarios, how they can improve real user experience, and what guidelines need to be in place to ensure an equitable experience for all users. 5forests follows these changes and we work to improve our own offerings every single day.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is your approach to accessible web design at 5forests?

We don’t see accessibility as just a feature. We believe every website should offer the same usability, functionality, and enjoyment to everyone, no matter their capability level. We don’t just meet minimum standards, we go beyond them. Because accessibility is not just good for business, it’s just plain good.

How do you ensure your web design is accessible at 5forests?

We start from the ground up, considering how real people use the web. We don’t just aim to pass technical guidelines, we make sure our sites are practically usable. After launching a new website, we help train your in-house team to edit the website and to understand how to make better decisions for a more inclusive web.

How do you evaluate the accessibility of your websites at 5forests?

We don’t rely solely on automated scans. While they can be useful for catching common mistakes, they’re not comprehensive enough. We gather feedback from real users using real assistive technologies, in partnership with an independent auditing company. This way we can enhance our website builds based on real-world experiences.

What is your stance on accessibility overlays at 5forests?

You won’t find those “little man in a circle” icons floating on our websites. We believe, along with prominent industry experts, that while overlays might be convenient temporary measures, they don’t truly make a website accessible (and in some cases they can make things worse). We are committed to long-term compliance, and that means doing things the right way.

How do you stay current with accessibility standards at 5forests?

Accessibility is a moving target, and we like it that way. As the web continues to improve its understanding of assistive technologies and user experience, we follow these changes by staying in touch with industry experts, attending accessibility related talks, reading accessibility oriented literature, and using these learnings to enhance our offerings every single day​​.

Need help meeting accessibility requirements?

With our Accessible Web Design and Development Services, your winery, brewery, or distillery will offer a digital experience that’s open, accessible, and enjoyable for all customers. By embracing accessibility as a cornerstone of your online presence, you will not only enhance your brand’s reputation and reach but also contribute to a more inclusive and equitable digital world.