Guiding Principle 4: Robust
The 'Robust' principle seeks to ensure that a web page and it’s content is robust enough to be accurately interpreted with any advancing technologies, such as multiple web browsers, assistive screen readers or voice activated devices.
A website’s compatibility with a wide range of technologies is crucial to ensure no barriers are created for users in different technology situations. Depending on the device being used, users may only have access to one browser type (e.g. Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari). Each of these browsers have slightly different builds and can replicate a website’s design or functionality slightly differently. Cross-browser compatibility is a large consideration for web developers when creating new platforms.
Furthermore, assistive technologies are extremely useful for many user groups. For example, screen reader technology provides audio dictations of a website’s content so that users with visual impairments are able to fully understand and utilise them. In addition, speech recognition assistive technologies such as Dragon, support users with physical abilities in navigating web platforms using just their voice and a headset.
Assistive technologies have been a major breakthrough in the web accessibility field over the past decade and have broken down many barriers for key disabled user groups.