New research has revealed that finance apps are falling short compared to other categories such as social networking, shopping and entertainment when it comes to accessibility.

The research by Warbox has looked in detail at the accessibility features of the top apps across popular categories in the UK, ranking them for their inclusivity. To get an average score for each category, the tech experts looked at the apps individually, rating them based on whether they had accessibility features such as text size adjustment, high contrast mode, screen reader compatibility, alt text, subtitles and keyboard navigation.

According to Statista, 73% of all bank account holders processed banking matters via mobile banking in the first quarter of 2024 – but, with a score of just 4.1, finance apps are lagging behind other categories.

The results*

App Category Average Accessibility Score (out of 10) Percentage of Apps with Alt Text Percentage of Apps with Keyboard Navigation Percentage of Apps with Text to Speech
Social networking 6.8 80% 60% 50%
Shopping 6.5 80% 80% 10%
Entertainment 5.7 70% 40% 20%
Food & Drink 5.3 40% 90% 10%
Education 5.2 20% 100% 30%
Finance 4.1 10% 40% 30%
Sports 4.1 40% 10% 10%
Travel/ navigation 3.6 30% 20% 30%
Health & Fitness 3.6 10% 60% 0%
Dating 3.1 30% 50% 10%

The research shows that many of the most popular apps lack basic adjustments like text resizing and voice control, which could present challenges for users with visual, auditory, and motor impairments. This disparity highlights the urgent need for developers to prioritise accessibility, ensuring a more inclusive digital environment for all users.

With an average score of just 3.1, the dating app category came out as the least accessible out of all analysed.

James Preece, celebrity dating coach and relationship expert, says: “So many people struggle with accessibility on dating apps. My relationship coaching clients describe their feelings when they attempt to use inaccessible apps, as like being at a party where they can’t see or understand anyone. 

“Font sizes that can be changed are crucial to an accessible experience. It can help singles who have vision problems or even those who just like larger text. Accessibility can also be enhanced with screen reader features – for people who suffer from severe visual impairments, this is extremely beneficial. It keeps them from being excluded from the experience and enables them to comprehend and engage with the app in a meaningful way.

“It’s not just about compliance; these accessibility features are all about empathy. It’s about realising that everyone deserves the opportunity to interact and form meaningful relationships. Dating apps can make their platform more welcoming and inclusive for all users by adding accessibility features.”

Coming out on top with an average accessibility score of 6.8 was the social networking category, closely followed by shopping apps with an average score of 6.5.

It’s reported that there are currently 56.2 million social media users in the UK and apps like Facebook, Instagram and TikTok are some of the most popular across all categories. As such, social media companies are often in the public eye and can face scrutiny if they are not demonstrating inclusivity.

Mark Fensom, director at Warbox, comments on the findings: “It’s crucial for brands to ensure that their apps are accessible for everyone and the first step is truly understanding the broad scope of accessibility needs; whether it’s visual, auditory, motor or cognitive, and how designs can be adapted to meet the needs of these users.

“It’s important to strike a balance between getting the right look and feel for your app, that truly conveys your brand and purpose, without overlooking accessibility requirements. To cater to those with accessibility needs effectively, brands should integrate accessible design principles from the get-go, ensuring that it is not merely an afterthought but a core component of the app’s design and functionality.”

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