www.kent.ac.uk site design
The University has recently redesigned the kent.ac.uk website. The website featured well over 10,000 pages of content on academic school sites alone. There was a lack of consistent design and structure across different schools and departments. To address this the University’s web development team created a tool (Site Editor) to facilitate creating content on the website.
The aim was to refocus content on the student journey and provide users with the best experience - ensuring that website accessibility was a key focus. The University sought input from technical and user experience experts, plain English content writers and undertook testing with users of assistive technologies. In addition, training for all web and content creators is embedded to support the sustainable delivery of accessible and good quality content for all users in accordance with our digital guidelines and the University of Kent Digital Accessibility Policy.
Site Editor as an accessibility guide
Content creators adding or editing web pages use the Site Editor tool. A key feature is ensuring that accessibility requirements are met and pages cannot be published until accessibility issues have been remediated. For example, when adding an image to a page, Site Editor’s interface prompts the page creator to add an alternative text description where appropriate.
What we tested
We selected a prioritised sample of Kent websites based on their usage, criticality to the student experience (based on a risk analysis matrix) and how representative they were of other pages using similar templates or covering related processes. This includes content designed in-house alongside third-party platforms and services. An accessibility statement was then created for each domain and subdomain tested.
Our testing process
We assessed each webpage against the WCAG 2.1 AA guidelines using JAWS (Job Access With Speech), NVDA (Non-Visual Desktop Access) and VoiceOver. We supplemented this with additional testing using automated tools (Microsoft Accessibility Insights and aXe pro beta v4.7.1) on Google Chrome and Firefox browsers on Mac OSX and Windows.
For third-party applications we have sourced accessibility statements from suppliers directly (wherever possible) and added these to searchBOX (a centralised, independent directory of third-party accessibility information) and documented this in our accessibility statements.
We have reviewed our accessibility statements against ASPIRE education accreditation for public sector accessibility statements.
Ongoing improvements are made dynamically throughout the year following feedback from our ongoing audit processes and from users. Status updates can be viewed in our accessibility statements.