This year the digital industry has started to take a downfall as customers begin to sue websites and apps for lacking the functionalities needed to be legally compliant. In the first financial quarter of 2019 accessibility claims have risen by 31% in the US alone, with 60% of those claims being targeted at retail websites. And it’s not just customers that have had enough of deficient websites, brands employing third parties to re-platform or re-design their site/apps have also encountered legal issues, as trusted companies fail to hit the mark.
In January this year, Domino’s set off the lawsuit movement after losing a 2 year long legal battle with a customer, due to missing functionalities required on the mobile app for it to be accessible to blind customers. In this case, the complaintive, Mr Robles, was unable to use Domino’s Pizza Builder facility on both the app and website, as the platforms lacked the labeling need for screen reading software. This led to an extensive inquest into Domino's online presence and accessibility functions which caused a lot of bad blood and bad press between the accessibility community and Domino's.
Since then, more customers have actively voiced their complaints and taken legal action against certain companies as they fail to meet legal requirements.
"All organisations have a responsibility under the Equality Act 2010 to ensure that their websites and apps can be used by blind and partially sighted people, including those who use screen readers," a spokeswoman told the BBC.
On the flip side, car rental giant Hertz is currently in the process of suing web design company Accenture for $32m after a hellish app re-design. Among the extensive list of problems which made the app virtually unusable. Accenture failed to optimize the website for mobile and website devices, lacked localisation functionalities, such as location-specific currency changes, and had severe security coding issues which made the app virtually unsalvageable.
Amid the mounting problems Hertz encountered with the re-design, one of the biggest issues was the lack of usability testing required to ensure the app would be operational by real-world customers. The testing would have highlighted all the errors Accenture made during the construction of the app and I doubt the results would have been warmly welcomed by Hertz.
Even though this instance is a severe case of apps and websites going wrong. The reality is many websites currently live lack the annual web testing checks need to ensure their platform doesn’t contain conversion reducing bugs and complies with the law. Usability testing is one of the many divisions of web testing companies need to perform in order to avoid lawsuits and retain loyal customers.
Read our quick web testing checklist to ensure you are avoiding costly lawsuits and optimising your website’s revenue.