Imagine that you learnt there was a new web browser and 14% of users were using it. Downloading it, you give it a try and find that your own website is really difficult to use in this browser, there are sections that are broken and content that you can't even read.
This is a big issue! That's a significant number of users that can't buy from your shop, use your product or learn more about your company.
You'd call up the developers of your site straight away and put a plan together to fix up the site to support this new browser. Crisis averted.
Don't worry, there's no crazy new browser that most sites have issues with. The 14% of users I'm referring to are people with disabilities. Research commissioned by Microsoft showed that 9% of working age computer users in the US have a severe visual difficulty or impairment. In addition, 5% have a severe dexterity difficulty or impairment.
Because we don't experience websites in the same way as a blind user navigating with a screen reader, the issues with our websites can be easy to overlook. The same applies to mobile websites and apps - iPhones have a built in screen reader called VoiceOver that reads content to you and allows you to control the phone using gestures.
One thing that is simple to test - try using your website with only the keyboard. Some users have visual or dexterity issues that mean this is the only way they can get around on the web. Hopefully, your site isn't going to cause them a problem. If it does, it really is worth having the issues resolved. After all, you don't want to be missing out on 14% extra usage.
If you'd like to discuss more about web and mobile accessibility, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org