The issue of web accessibility holds relatively little significance in Austria and is primarily viewed in a social context.
According to studies3, expectedly high financial costs, technical time and effort, as well as a lack of expertise on the part of the provider are to blame for the shortage of accessible internet sites. In an effort to document the extent of these expected costs, a concept detailing web accessibility development has been prepared. The concept is comprised of the following three steps: the creation of valid source code, the implementation of WCAG 1.0 as well as an evaluation of accessibility via Unified Web Evaluation Methodology (UWEM) 1.2. Furthermore, the concept has been applied to an existing, nonaccessible website belonging to an Austrian company in order to prove the commercial significance of accessibility. In order to analyze the commercial use of accessibility, a single case study based on Yin's case study framework was conducted.
This case study draws on a comparison of the access statistics of a non-accessible version of the website with those of an accessible one.
The analysis shows an increase of total visits by +60.47%. Qualitative visitor distinctions such as the number of page hits per visit (+2.41 pages) and the average duration of a visit (+0:01:17) also increased. On the assumption that the introduction of web accessibility brings with it a more comprehensive search engine content indexation, a detailed analysis was made of search-engine-generated visits. All quantitative and qualitative metrics4 for the accessible website achieved significantly (p<0.05) better values than those of non-accessible websites. The second part of the case study consisted of an accessibility cost/use analysis, which was conducted with the aid of an isolated test case (www.ruwa.at). After only two months, the profits generated by the accessible version of the website reached the amount of the initial costs occrued through the introduction of that same web accessibility.