Articles

Agromousquetaires adopte SAP TM pour sa nouvelle filiale transport

Dans le cadre de son plan A2P 2020, Agromousquetaires a créé une société dédiée à la logistique. AgroM Transport s’appuie sur SAP TM 9.5 pour assurer la planification et l’exécution des opérations de transport. Une solution mise en place par itelligence.

Agromousquetaires est le pôle agroalimentaire du groupe Mousquetaires. Avec 4,03 milliards d’euros de chiffre d’affaires annuel, 11.000 collaborateurs, 19.700 partenaires agricoles, 62 usines en France et 10 filières, Agromousquetaires est un poids lourd du secteur. La société est en effet le leader français des marques de distributeur, mais aussi le 4e groupe agroalimentaire et le 1er armateur de pêche de l’Hexagone.

Dans le cadre de son plan Agro Performance Plus 2020 (A2P 2020), Agromousquetaires souhaite réduire ses coûts de production au travers de l’innovation. La société passe d’un réseau de PME à une logique de filière, plus efficace. L’un des volets de ce plan prévoit la mise en place d’un pôle logistique dédié.

Le choix de SAP TM et itelligence

En avril 2017, Agromousquetaires a décidé de transférer l’activité logistique de ses filières bœuf et porc vers une nouvelle société, AgroM Transport. Avec comme date butoir le premier janvier 2019.

L’utilisation de SAP Transportation Management (SAP TM) est rapidement apparue comme une évidence pour le groupe. Car le SI d’AgroM Transport mise sur d’autres solutions SAP pour la comptabilité, la finance, le contrôle de gestion et les achats non marchands. Le choix de SAP TM va donc dans le sens d’une cohérence du SI de la nouvelle entreprise.

L’intégrateur itelligence a été choisi pour sa taille rassurante (plus de 7900 consultants présents dans 27 pays) et sa connaissance étendue des solutions SAP (activité 100 % SAP et 30 ans d’expertise). Il a su également convaincre avec sa méthodologie pragmatique, consistant à proposer une solution fonctionnelle le plus tôt possible. Les utilisateurs ont ainsi pu faire remonter leurs recommandations rapidement, l’objectif étant de bâtir une offre de transport moderne : cartographie, diagrammes de Gantt, échanges informatisés avec les partenaires transporteurs, suivi des camions, etc.

Un planning serré

Le projet a démarré en septembre 2017, le pilote devant impérativement être achevé un an plus tard, pour une mise en production le premier janvier 2019. Dans la pratique, le prototype de la solution SAP TM 9.5 a été mis en fonction en mai 2018, avec une phase de stabilisation se terminant en septembre 2018, puis un déploiement progressif jusqu’à la fin de l’année. SAP TM se charge de la planification et de l’exécution des opérations de transport, la gestion des données de base (fournisseurs, clients, articles…) et de la facturation étant prise en charge par S/4HANA Finance.

Le premier janvier 2019, la société AgroM Transport a été lancée avec 331 collaborateurs transférés, 331 cartes grises, 135 transporteurs partenaires, 17 sites gérés et 12 entrepôts frigorifiques. 130.000 ordres de fret sont prévus sur l’année, pour un chiffre d’affaires estimé à 72 millions d’euros. Une grosse volumétrie que SAP TM a su prendre en charge.

Une deuxième phase déjà démarrée

Les enjeux sont atteints à 100 % sur de nombreux critères :

  • mise en place d’un plan de transport efficace ;
  • optimisation du réseau de transport ;
  • exploitation centralisée ;
  • cartographie, GIS et diagrammes de Gantt ;
  • communication avec les partenaires par voie électronique ;
  • intégration avec l’ERP SAP…

Le tout pour un budget maitrisé.

À ce jour, Agromousquetaires n’a migré que deux de ses filières vers la nouvelle société. Une seconde phase programmée sur deux ans est toutefois annoncée. À terme, le choix de SAP TM permettra également de faire remonter des informations vers les outils de Business Intelligence (BI) d’Agromousquetaires.

The post Agromousquetaires adopte SAP TM pour sa nouvelle filiale transport appeared first on SAP France News.

Source de l’article sur sap.com

Préparer, prévenir, détecter : comment les employeurs peuvent assurer un retour au travail sûr et sain

Alors que les collaborateurs commencent à abandonner progressivement cette longue période de travail à distance et à retourner sur leur lieu de travail, les entreprises se demandent à quel moment et de quelle manière il convient de le faire en toute sécurité. Il s’agit d’une tâche essentielle et d’un nouveau défi pour tous, tant pour les employés que pour les responsables des ressources humaines (RH).

Tout d’abord, la santé ainsi que le bien-être des collaborateurs et de leurs familles sont en jeu. Deuxièmement, il existe des risques commerciaux que les employeurs peuvent ne pas prendre en compte, allant du respect de la vie privée au non-respect du règlement général sur la protection des données (RGPD).

Aux États-Unis, par exemple, les Centres pour le contrôle et la prévention des maladies (CDC) ont récemment formulé des recommandations détaillées pour améliorer la sécurité dans les immeubles de bureaux, notamment en contrôlant les températures et les symptômes. Par ailleurs, l’Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) des États-Unis continue de réviser ses lignes directrices aux employeurs afin d’équilibrer le respect du Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) et des CDC.

Cette situation peut être éprouvante pour n’importe quelle organisation. Nombreuses sont celles qui choisissent d’adopter une longue période de travail à distance avec des horaires flexibles. Les entreprises qui sont implantées dans plusieurs régions se trouvent dans des phases et des environnements très différents. De l’Asie à l’Europe, certaines régions se montrent plus agressives en matière de déconfinement.

La première recommandation que j’adresse aux clients qui envisagent de faire revenir leurs employés au travail en toute sécurité est de commencer par un plan qui intégrera les processus RH. Pour aider les clients de tous les secteurs et de tous les pays à gérer cette transition, SAP a publié les principales mises à jour de la solution SAP SuccessFactors Visa and Permits Management ainsi que l’application partenaire Guardian by AlertEnterprise.

Une technologie SAP tournée vers l’avenir pour un lieu de travail sûr et sain

Au lancement, la solution SAP SuccessFactors Visa and Permits avait un cas d’utilisation particulier, comme en témoigne son nom. Cependant, en travaillant avec ses clients pour étendre ses capacités, SAP a découvert de nombreux cas d’utilisation autour du suivi des certificats, des licences, des justificatifs et de bien d’autres choses encore qui sont particulièrement pertinentes aujourd’hui. Grâce à cette solution, les utilisateurs peuvent désormais contrôler le processus visant à faire revenir les employés au bureau tout en automatisant l’application de politiques complexes et évolutives en matière de santé et de sécurité liées au COVID-19 pour mieux protéger les personnes.

En quoi ces outils sont-ils utiles ?

Pour assurer un retour au travail sûr et sain, voici une approche en trois étapes qui vous permettra de démarrer.

Préparation

Grâce à la solution SAP SuccessFactors Visa and Permits, soutenez le déconfinement tout en minimisant les risques, et gérez les procédures de santé et de sécurité qui encadrent le retour au travail des collaborateurs.

  • Prévoyez pour vos collaborateurs un moyen sûr d’envoyer les documents, comme une preuve de certificat numérique de santé ou des justificatifs, avant leur retour au travail.
  • Suivez les coûts du dépistage. Les fonctionnalités de libre-service permettent aux utilisateurs de remplir et de soumettre des documents afin de réduire le travail manuel.
  • Gérez les renseignements médicaux sensibles des collaborateurs. Par exemple, les lignes directrices de l’EEOC précisent que l’ADA demande que les renseignements médicaux concernant un employé soient stockés séparément du dossier personnel de l’individu afin de limiter l’accès aux informations confidentielles. Autrement dit, au lieu de stocker les nouveaux renseignements médicaux dans SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central, ces informations peuvent être gérées dans SAP SuccessFactors Visa and Permits, ce qui contribue à la fois à sécuriser les données et à protéger les collaborateurs.
  • Réduisez le risque d’encourir de lourdes sanctions financières, comme le non-respect du RGPD en matière de « traitement de catégories particulières de données à caractère personnel ». Respectez les réglementations légales supplémentaires et les règles en matière de confidentialité des données, comme la Health Insurance Portability And Accountability Act ou HIPAA.
  • Configurez les processus de notification, d’approbation, de renouvellement et plus. Les tableaux de bord fournissent un aperçu de la conformité, et les actions en temps réel permettent aux entreprises de gérer en toute confiance leur personnel dans un environnement en constante évolution.
  • En ce qui concerne l’intégration, les entreprises ont la possibilité de simplifier le processus d’embauche afin de traiter les formalités administratives le plus tôt possible pour que les nouveaux collaborateurs puissent commencer à travailler.

Prévention

Faites revenir le personnel non essentiel au bureau en toute sécurité grâce à la solution AlertEnterprise Health & Safety Access Governance.

  • Contrôlez le nombre de personnes dans les locaux, gérez l’accès aux sites qui sont temporairement saturés et autorisez de nouveaux modes de travail par roulement
  • Prévoyez un système d’autodéclaration et d’autoattestation avec un rétablissement contrôlé de l’accès au lieu de travail déterminé par la politique. Par exemple, les employés et les visiteurs peuvent s’autoévaluer et vérifier s’ils ont de la fièvre, si quelqu’un dans leur foyer a été déclaré positif au COVID-19, etc.
  • Gérez les contrôles d’entrée au site grâce au libre-service pour les contrôles préalables, comme les contrôles de température, avec l’application de politiques et la gestion de l’accès.
  • Mettez en place des systèmes de badges et de sécurité pour gérer l’accès à l’espace de travail et contribuer à l’application des politiques de l’entreprise, comme avec le retrait automatique de l’accès.

Détection

Minimisez les risques permanents grâce à la solution AlertEnterprise Health & Safety Intelligence Tracker et protégez votre lieu de travail.

  • Utilisez les analyses pour suivre les personnes qui ont été exposées au COVID-19 ou qui pourraient l’être. Cette technologie permet de suivre une infection suspecte ou confirmée et de détecter les personnes ainsi que les zones susceptibles d’avoir été exposées au virus.
  • Déterminez les zones exposées pour les mettre en quarantaine ou les assainir. Les zones à haut risque peuvent alors être désinfectées, et les personnes à haut risque peuvent se voir retirer leur accès de sécurité.
  • Prenez des décisions à partir de données concrètes, comme les niveaux d’exposition, les cartes thermiques de localisation, et d’autres analyses de santé et de sécurité.

En ce qui concerne le déconfinement, les clients comprennent qu’il ne s’agit pas de revenir au travail comme si de rien n’était. Ils savent que le déconfinement ne se résume pas à choisir une date pour ouvrir les portes et à distribuer du gel hydroalcoolique. En cette période d’incertitude, ils veulent apprendre à préserver la santé, la sécurité et la sûreté de leurs collaborateurs et clientèle.

Si chacun doit jouer son rôle en assumant une responsabilité personnelle, les employeurs peuvent ouvrir la voie à un retour au travail sûr et sain.

 

Imran Sajid est le directeur international de la gestion du capital humain pour SAP SuccessFactors.

Publié pour la première fois en anglais sur news.sap.com

The post Préparer, prévenir, détecter : comment les employeurs peuvent assurer un retour au travail sûr et sain appeared first on SAP France News.

Source de l’article sur sap.com

How to Get Dark Mode Design Right

Dark themes are everywhere these days. 

As human beings continue to spend more of their time interacting with technology, dark themes provide a more relaxing way to engage with the digital world. More often than not, these themes are easier on the eyes, more attractive, and perfect for the dedicated user

Throughout 2020, countless leading brands have debuted their own version of the dark theme. Google has a solution for your Drive, while Apple and Android have built dark theme performance right into their operating systems. 

If you haven’t learned how to make the most out of dark mode yet, then you could be missing out on an excellent opportunity to differentiate your design skills, and earn more clients going forward. 

Why Dark Mode?

Before we dive too deeply into the possibilities of creating your own dark theme, let’s examine what dark mode is, and why it’s so effective. 

Ultimately, dark themes are created to reduce the amount of luminance emitted by everything from your desktop and laptop, to your smartphone and smartwatch. Dark themes help to improve the visual ergonomics of design, by reducing eye strain, adjusting brightness to suit current lighting conditions, and more. Additionally, many dark mode offerings are also fantastic at conserving battery life. 

Here are some of the main benefits of adding dark themes to your design portfolio

  • Better user experience: A focus on user experience is one of the most important trends of the digital age. You need to be willing to deliver incredible experiences to everyone who visits your website if you want to stand out today. Dark mode reduces everything from eye strain, to battery power consumption. This helps to keep customers on a website for longer.
  • Innovation and cutting edge appeal: Most companies want to prove that they can stay on the cutting edge of their industry. The ability to offer an opt-in dark mode version of a website theme or appearance can help your clients to stand out from the crowd. As the environment becomes more mobile-focused, more companies will be looking for designers that can provide the best mobile experiences. 
  • Support for universal design: Dark mode isn’t just great for people who have light sensitivity at night. This solution could be more comfortable for visually-impaired users who would struggle with eye strain when visiting your websites otherwise. If you want your content to be more inclusive for a wider range of viewers, then learning how to design for dark mode is a good way to start.

Best Practices When Designing for Dark Mode

Designing for dark mode is easier than you’d think. Most of the time, it involves simply thinking about how you can replace some of the brighter, more overwhelming aspects of your site, with something deeper and darker. 

Here are some useful tips that will get you moving in the right direction. 

1. Experiment with Colors

A big issue for a lot of web designers when it comes to developing a dark mode solution is that they get too caught up with things like pure white text against pure black backgrounds. However, this high-contrast option can be a little much after a while. 

It’s often much easier to use a dark grey as your primary surface color, instead of a true black. Additionally, rather than using bright white, think about slightly off-white alternatives that will be warmer to the eye.

Experiment with surfaces and color combinations that are unlikely to cause too much eye strain. Dark grey foundations often offer a wider range of depth, too, because you can demonstrate shadows on grey. 

Additionally, when you are experimenting with colors, remember that saturated colors often vibrate painfully against very dark surfaces, making them harder to read. Desaturating your colors will help to reduce the contrast and make your websites more welcoming. 

Lighter tones in the 200-50 range will have better readability on dark themes. However, you can always experiment with your choices. Google Material Design recommends using a contrast level of around 15:8:1 between your background and text. 

2. Consider the Emotional Impact

Much of the effort involved with dark mode design is figuring out how certain colors work together. It’s easy to get carried away with stark contrasts, particularly when you’re used to working with a white background. However, you need to remember that you’re designing for a user that’s primarily looking for an easier and more subdued browsing experience.

While you’re working, remember to consider the emotional aspect of the design too. The emotion in colors can make or break a buyer’s journey in any environment. However, an often overlooked-aspect of color psychology, is that people perceive shades differently when they’re on a black background

For instance, think of the color green. On a light background, it conveys nature and even financial wealth. However, on a dark background, the same green could come across as something venomous, toxic, or even sickly. It’s important to think about the kind of impressions end users are going to get when they arrive on your site.

3. Give Users the Freedom to Choose

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when you begin designing for dark mode, is thinking that you should focus entirely on your dark themes, and nothing else. This lines you up for a problem if you interact with users who want the best of both worlds. If you’re designing for apps in particular, you’re going to need web pages that can switch naturally between light and dark themes. 

Learning how to implement both a dark mode and a light mode option into the desks you create will help you to reach a wider selection of customers. Remember, you’ll need to test the performance and impact of your designs in both themes, to check that they deliver the same kind of experience, no matter how your user chooses to browse. 

Although dark mode should offer a different experience to end-users, it still needs to feel as though they’re browsing on the same website. That means that you’re going to need to experiment with the most natural combination of light and dark mode options.

4. Remember the Basics

Remember, although the three tips above will help you to get on the right path for dark mode design, you’ll also need to consider the opportunities and limitations of the platforms that you’re designing for. The kind of dark mode experience you can deliver for Google Chrome websites is going to be very different to what you can create for something running on iOS.

Examining the documentation provided by the system that you’re designing for will help you to develop something with a close insight into what’s actually possible. 

Other top tips for dark mode design include:

  • Focus on your content: Make sure that your content stands out on the page, without being too overwhelming. 
  • Test your design: In both light and dark appearances, you need to make sure everything is working as it should be.
  • Adopt vibrancy for your interfaces: Vibrancy helps to improve the contrast between your background and foreground. 
  • Use semantic colors: Semantic colors adapt to the current appearance of a website automatically. Hard-coded color values that don’t adapt can seem more aggressive. 
  • Desktop tinting: Try experiment with things like transparency and filters to give your websites and apps a slightly warmer tint – ideal for late-night browsing
  • Icons: Use individual glyphs and icons for dark and light modes if necessary. 

Ready to Design for Dark Mode?

Preparing your web development and design portfolio for an era addicted to dark mode can be a complex experience. You need to think carefully about how people are going to browse through your websites and apps when they’re searching for something more subtle, and less visually overwhelming than the websites that we’re used to making. 

The most important thing to remember is that everything on your website or application should look just as beautifully tailor-made in dark mode as it does in light mode. Simply adding a dynamic black background when people want to switch settings in an app isn’t enough. You need to go in-depth with your designs and examine how different fonts, colors, and images work together.

Source


Source de l’article sur Webdesignerdepot

SAP accompagne avec succès la Branche Service-Courrier-Colis du Groupe La Poste dans sa transformation numérique

La Branche Service-Courrier-Colis (BSCC) du Groupe La Poste s’appuie avec succès sur les solutions SAP BW /4HANA et SAP BI Suite pour répondre aux nouveaux enjeux du marché et réduire son Time To Market. Avec la volonté d’être davantage au service des métiers pour améliorer le service client, cette collaboration s’inscrit dans la transformation numérique de l’activité historique du Groupe La Poste. Cette dernière s’installe et se développe sur de nouveaux secteurs avec la volonté de simplifier la vie de tous et de chacun.

Les technologies SAP pour augmenter la qualité de service IT et client

Le projet, lancé en 2017 avec SAP BW/4HANA, est né de la nécessité de la BSCC de désiloter son organisation en place où chaque business unit était responsable du développement et du choix de ses outils BI. Le projet s’est alors bâti sur 3 grands enjeux :

  • Rationaliser, consolider et gérer l’obsolescence afin de converger vers une solution unique ;
  • Répondre aux enjeux métiers via un reporting opérationnel en temps réel et accélérer le Time To Market dans les projets ;
  • Avoir une vision 360 du cycle de vie de chaque produit passant par les chaînes logistiques de l’entreprise.

Depuis la mise en place des solutions SAP en 2017, la BSCC a uniformisé sa BI avec des outils clés en main pour les collaborateurs opérationnels (20 000 personnes). Tout est désormais centralisé et disponible quasiment instantanément pour être davantage au service des métiers et améliorer le service client.

Les 3 000 directeurs d’établissements sont depuis capables de mieux piloter leur activité, d’être plus réactifs mais aussi plus proactifs grâce à la fiabilité du SI. Enfin, cette nouvelle organisation apporte également une réelle amélioration de l’expérience client final permettant à la BSCC de faire des gains financiers significatifs.

Des coûts de run divisés par 6 et des gains financiers importants sur la partie TMS

La mise en place de SAP BW 4/HANA a permis le déploiement de cartographies mixant data source et volume d’informations, grâce à une plateforme permettant d’absorber de grosses volumétries de données. L’ensemble de ce projet a été mené en mode agile, la méthodologie S@fe ayant été déployée à l’échelle de la BSCC, pour permettre une meilleure flexibilité d’intégration et une meilleure coordination de travail entre les équipes.

Plusieurs projets ont pu voir le jour tel que le projet Osram, permettant de mesurer, analyser, piloter le raccordement qui est au cœur de la supply chain. La dernière version déployée permet d’ores et déjà de simuler la transformation de son réseau industriel qui est un enjeu majeur de la Poste pour améliorer la performance client. Ce projet offre une vision bout en bout de la collecte au dernier geste de distribution, ce qui est totalement disruptif et novateur par rapport au pilotage fait jusqu’à présent.

Enfin, la BSCC a pu améliorer son taux de satisfaction client, en mettant les indicateurs utiles à disposition des collaborateurs suite au déploiement de rampe de flashage permettant de suivre les contenants. L’analyse des fausses directions, une vision factuelle (et non plus déclarée) de l’exécution de ce qui a été planifié dans le contrat de service entre établissement et une meilleure connaissance des flux logistique contribuent à l’optimisation des niveaux de tri.

Eric Brun, Responsable du Socle Connaissance 360, explique : “Depuis la mise en place généralisée des outils SAP, notre coût de run a été divisé par six pour la partie back-end, tout en améliorant le time to market. La solution est fiable, simple et claire, permettant aux équipes de réagir rapidement en cas de problème. Sur le volet transports, l’ensemble du Transport Management System a été repensé pour offrir un outil intuitif permettant de connaître la moindre anomalie ou retard et optimiser le taux de remplissage de chaque camion. Le reporting Atlas Handling permet quant à lui une gestion plus performante et prédictive de notre conteneurisation.  Les gains financiers sont extrêmement importants pour le métier et coté IT le TCO de notre back end divisé par 6 »

De nombreux projets communs à venir

« Nous sortons gagnants de la collaboration avec SAP qui nous apporte un vrai support sur nos enjeux court, moyen et long terme. Les équipes SAP nous nous ont réellement permis d’accélérer notre transformation. Nous travaillons sur une roadmap long terme à 3 ans qui inclut le déploiement d’HANA Enterprise en novembre prochain pour gérer les forts volumes dès janvier 2021 et l’accélération avec SAP Analytics Cloud pour faire du reporting massif et développer de nouveaux cas d’usages autour de la mobilité  », conclut Eric Brun.

À propos de SAP

La stratégie de SAP vise à aider chaque organisation à fonctionner en “entreprise intelligente”. En tant que leader du marché des logiciels d’application d’entreprise, nous aidons les entreprises de toutes tailles et de tous secteurs à opérer au mieux : 77 % des transactions commerciales mondiales entrent en contact avec un système SAP®. Nos technologies de Machine Learning, d’Internet des objets (IoT) et d’analytique avancées aident nos clients à transformer leurs activités en “entreprises intelligentes”. SAP permet aux personnes et aux organisations d’avoir une vision approfondie de leur business et favorise la collaboration afin qu’elles puissent garder une longueur d’avance sur leurs concurrents. Nous simplifions la technologie afin que les entreprises puissent utiliser nos logiciels comme elles le souhaitent – sans interruption. Notre suite d’applications et de services de bout en bout permet aux clients privés et publics de 25 secteurs d’activité dans le monde de fonctionner de manière rentable, de s’adapter en permanence et de faire la différence. Avec son réseau mondial de clients, partenaires, employés et leaders d’opinion, SAP aide le monde à mieux fonctionner et à améliorer la vie de chacun. Pour plus d’informations, visitez le site www.sap.com .

 

Contacts presse :

Daniel Margato, Directeur Communication : 06 64 25 38 08 – daniel.margato@sap.com
Sylvain Drillon : 06 44 71 35 68 – presse-sap@publicisconsultants.com

SAP News Center. Suivez SAP sur Twitter : @SAPNews.

Veuillez tenir compte de notre politique de confidentialité. Si vous avez reçu cette alerte de presse dans votre courriel et que vous souhaitez vous désabonner de notre liste d’envoi, veuillez communiquer avec presse-sap@publicisconsultants.com et écrire Désabonnement dans la ligne Objet.

 

The post SAP accompagne avec succès la Branche Service-Courrier-Colis du Groupe La Poste dans sa transformation numérique appeared first on SAP France News.

Source de l’article sur sap.com

Branding 101: Choosing the Right Business Name

When starting a new business (or even venturing into the world of freelancing for the first time), there are some really big, important steps you have to take.

Step #1 is choosing the right business name for your brand identity.

Your business name isn’t something you can casually choose either — especially if you have lofty long-term goals for your company. It’s not as though you can’t change the name down the road, but that comes with a ton of work and will require you to rebuild pretty much everything all over again: your visual brand identity, your reputation, and your SEO…

So, it’s a good idea to spend time choosing a business name that’s going to work for you now and long into the future.

Today, we’re going to go through the process of how to name your brand. These questions will have you thinking beyond just “What name do I like the sound of?” and have you more focused on important questions like “What is my unique value proposition?”.

Let’s get started:

How to Name Your New Business

For those of you considering taking the easy way out and using a business name generator tool, let me show you why that’s a bad idea:

This is a list of business names suggested to me when I told the generator that my business is related to “design”:

  • Design
  • Normal Design
  • Regional Design
  • Design Partner
  • Design Stock

Even the more unique names on the list are unusable; they have no connection to me personally or to the kind of business I plan to start.

This is why it’s so important to sort out your brand identity and make sure you pick a business name that resonates with you, and your target audience. To do this yourself, answer the following seven questions:

1. What Services Will You Provide Or Products Will You Sell?

The one thing that name generators get right is including a descriptive word related to your business. That way, it doesn’t take an actual visit to your website or a look through your portfolio to figure out what you do.

Even if you have a very niche specialty, sum up your offering in one or two words. For instance:

  • Web design
  • Digital design
  • Design & development
  • UX design
  • Graphic design

Unless you run your business through your own name (which I’ll talk about shortly), your business name should include a simplified version of your offering in it.

2. Who Is Your Target User Persona?

A user persona is a fictional character created using the demographics and psychology of your ideal customer or client. You can use Hubspot’s Make My Persona generator to create a card that documents these details:

Once you sort out who you serve, what makes them tick, and how it fits into the bigger picture of their business, you can better pitch your solution to them.

For instance, Joanna above is a real estate agent and owner whose primary goal is to capture leads and generate sales. You know how effective a real estate website can be for improving an agent’s visibility online and streamlining how they earn money.

So, including words in your business name that speak to that persona as well as their goals might be really useful.

Just keep in mind that web designers don’t always commit to one niche or stick with the same niche over the long run. So, you might not want to make your business name too specific to an industry (e.g. “Real Estate Design Solutions”) and more related to higher level themes and goals.

3. What Are The Names Of Your Top Competitors?

Do you know who your main competitors will be upon entering this space? If not, now’s the time to look them up.

When it comes to business names, you want to see if you can identify common threads among them. Perhaps they use puns or include location-specific descriptors. Or they just stick with the names they were born with.

While you don’t want to come off as a copycat, you can imbue your business name with a similar theme or tone if it’s proven to be successful with your shared audience. 

4. What Makes You Different?

Every business has a unique value proposition (UVP) — something that sets them apart from everyone else in the space. What’s yours?

Do you operate within a large metropolitan area where your prospective clients’ industry is booming?

Did you previously work in the industry for which you now build websites?

Are you an SEO expert who builds enterprise websites that rank?

In business, it’s good to be different — so long as it benefits your clients.

If you have a particular UVP that’s going to make you stand out, you’re going to use it everywhere to market yourself — your website, social media, sales pitches, etc. So, you might want to consider using a unique keyword from it within your business name.

5. Where Do You Envision Yourself In Five Years?

No one’s future is set in stone. However, if you’re seriously thinking about starting a new web design business, you have some ideas about where you want to go with it:

  • Do you like the idea of being a lifelong freelancer or digital nomad?
  • Would you like to operate your own design agency?
  • Do you have aspirations to build and sell website products, like plugins, themes, or UI kits instead?

If you expect to pivot your business at some point, be careful about choosing a business name that paints you into a corner. Keep it broader so that prospects don’t have to wonder what it is you really do.

And if you plan on scaling your business beyond yourself, using your own name might not be the best idea. You’ll want clients to associate the brand name with your agency, not with you specifically.

6. Will Your Business Name Be Easy To Remember?

At this point, you have some business names brewing. So, now we need to look at the more technical aspects of naming your brand.

Here’s what you need to do.

a. Write down no more than three to five business names you like.

For example:

  • Honeymooners Web Design
  • Charles Murphy Design & Development
  • FoREver Websites
  • SOLD Web Design Agency

b. Mash each name into one long lowercase string. Don’t include any punctuation.

For example:

  • honeymoonerswebdesign
  • charlesmurphydesignanddevelopment
  • foreverwebsites
  • soldwebdesignagency

c. Are any of the names difficult to read? Too long? Do any of them cause confusion and look like they mean something else?

If so, get rid of them as a matching domain name won’t work. Or, if you absolutely love them, fix the name so it’s clear, readable, and short. For instance:

charlesmurphydesignanddevelopment becomes charlesmurphydesign or just charlesmurphy.

7. Does The Name You Want Already Exist?

It’s a good idea to have a backup name in case you discover that the name you want already exists. Due to trademarking issues as well as possible confusion for your clients, you’ll want to avoid using a name that overlaps with or is the same as any other company (in or outside of web design).

Do a Google search for the business name you want to use. Check out the top 10 search results to see if there are any other matches.

You’ll also want to test out the domain name. Go to Domain.com and run your business name string through it:

You have a few options if this happens:

  1. Choose a different top-level domain (e.g. .tech, .io, .design).
  2. Use an abbreviated version of your business name  (e.g. solddesignagency.com).
  3. Move your backup business name to the front of the line and see if it’s available.

It all depends on how attached you are to the business name you’ve chosen. Just make sure that any changes you make to it (like shortening the domain name or using an alternate TLD) doesn’t cause confusion for prospects who look you up online. You don’t want them confusing someone else’s domain name for yours if business name and domain name don’t line up.

Choosing a Business Name Is Just the First Step…

Once you’ve settled on your business name, share it with a few people you trust. They’ll let you know if you’ve totally missed the mark or if it’s something you should be excited to run with.

As soon as you’re 100% sure it’s the right name, buy the domain name and register your company. Then, it’ll be official!

Of course, this isn’t the end to branding your new business. In our next Branding 101 post, we’re going to look at the next step: How to create the visual identity for your business.

Stay tuned!

 

Featured image via Pexels.

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Les nouvelles technologies à l’assaut du secteur de la construction

Le BIM n’est pas encore une réalité pour les acteurs du monde de la construction. Toutefois, l’innovation n’est pas absente de ce secteur, avec des avancées notables dans la collecte des données et la gestion des équipements lourds.

Augusta Reeves est un spécialiste SAP depuis plus de 20 ans, comptant une dizaine d’années d’expérience dans le secteur de la construction. Il propose la solution métier Fit2 Construction, qui couvre les aspects suivants : devis, commandes, facturation, planification et gestion des chantiers, avec un suivi de l’avancement des travaux assuré en temps réel. Le tout s’appuie sur des technologies SAP.

Pour André Baveux, Président d’Augusta Reeves, « le secteur de la construction est celui qui a le moins gagné en productivité ces dernières années, car il souffre structurellement de marges faibles ». Les nouvelles exigences réglementaires sur la gestion des déchets et des plans comme BIM 2022 n’arrivent pas encore à faire bouger les lignes. Plus que pousser les entreprises dans la bonne direction, ces actions sont en effet vues comme des contraintes supplémentaires sur un marché pourtant déjà en tension.

Toutefois les grands groupes du secteur, qui ont une rentabilité supérieure aux autres acteurs du marché, mènent une veille technologique active.

1re rupture : les smartphones

Pour innover dans le secteur de la construction, il est impératif de proposer des solutions qui ne demanderont pas d’investissement important et qui proposeront un ROI immédiat et net.

La première rupture détectée par Augusta Reeves vient des téléphones mobiles. Les chefs de chantier et chefs d’équipe sont tous équipés de smartphones. « Un outil idéal pour de la collecte de données, analyse André Baveux. Les smartphones proposent aujourd’hui des écrans suffisamment grands pour de la saisie de données, sans être aussi fragiles que les tablettes. »

Il est impératif toutefois de créer des solutions dont l’ergonomie est adaptée à la taille d’écran des smartphones. Et qui sont utilisables par des personnes peu à l’aise avec la technologie et disposant d’un temps limité. « Il faut que la collecte soit ciblée et simple. Par exemple une saisie de temps, ou l’avancement d’une tâche. »

Cette saisie sur smartphone va permettre une collecte de données en temps réel et au plus près du terrain. Auparavant, les chefs de chantier rassemblaient les informations dans un tableau, saisi par la suite en agence et remonté à la société une fois par semaine, voire une fois par mois. Avec des données remontées immédiatement dans le SI de l’entreprise, il est possible de gérer les travaux et coûts en temps réel, tout en simplifiant la tâche du chef de chantier. Analysées, ces données pourront servir à effectuer du pilotage.

2de rupture : les équipements connectés

Autre voie de progrès ne nécessitant pas un investissement massif : l’exploitation des données issues des équipements lourds présents sur les chantiers, comme les bulldozers par exemple.

Les constructeurs connectent aujourd’hui ces équipements en 3G, afin de faire remonter des données sur le taux d’utilisation, les pannes rencontrées, etc. Plusieurs startups proposent des connecteurs permettant aux entreprises de récupérer et exploiter ces données. Il devient ainsi possible de savoir en temps réel où se trouve un engin de chantier, s’il est en cours d’utilisation ou non, et – lorsqu’il est en panne – quel code panne ressort.

Sans avoir à investir massivement, il est donc possible d’exploiter ces données afin d’optimiser le taux de réservation des engins de chantier et leurs cycles de maintenance. Avec quelques technologies complémentaires, la maintenance préventive pourra même se transformer en maintenance prédictive, avec la promesse de bénéfices encore plus importants.

« Le secteur de la construction est longtemps resté sinistré en matière de numérique. De nouveaux SI sont en cours de mise au point, avec des pratiques qui se diffusent, comme le guidage GPS ou les plans électroniques. Ces techniques sont rapidement adoptées, car elles permettent des gains de productivité rapide, résume André Baveux. La révolution numérique est en cours dans le secteur de la construction, mais elle se veut avant tout pragmatique. »

The post Les nouvelles technologies à l’assaut du secteur de la construction appeared first on SAP France News.

Source de l’article sur sap.com

3 Essential Design Trends, October 2020

Design can make a statement. It evokes feeling and can encourage thought and conversation. That’s the common theme among the three trends in website design this month.

Each trend is rooted on the time and place where we live and includes elements that provoke thought. Kudos to these designers and design teams for jumpstarting conversations. Here’s what’s trending in design this month.

1. “Taking a Stance” Design

From social to environmental issues, design projects are echoing the sentiments of their audiences and organization in a way that take a stance on an issue.

Once taboo, this is becoming increasingly used as a technique for brands who are no longer worried about turning off a certain segment. The goal is to rally the core audience and people who feel the same way about an issue or cause.

There’s also a secondary thing happening here. Some designs aren’t really position based, but use imagery and language that resonates with a movement to associate with that feeling.

Never Heart uses “Join the Revolution” and a dark image with a heart to tug at your feelings. It can help create an association to a cause that you believe in without stating that cause directly. The design feels strong and inviting while making you feel like part of something.

Skye High uses “powerful” twice in the headline to convey a particular messages to women. The agency is looking to work with “powerful” women. It’s a timely statement and message that could resonate with a lot of business-women at various levels of their careers.

Discovered Wildfoods is a brand that is rooted in sustainability. The corporate model and responsibility of the brand shows through in the website. This type of design helps connect people with mutual feelings to the brand and products.

It’s refreshing to see more websites and brands embracing social causes and issues. It can be tricky for a number of reasons. But for some brands, it pays off.

2. Abstract Art Elements

If you are worried about a lack of images, or not sure how to portray images in an appropriate way due to the worldwide pandemic – groups or not, masked or not – abstract art elements can be the solution.

Widely used for startups and apps, more abstract design elements are everywhere. It’s an easy way to create strong visual interest without photography.

The most common use of abstract art elements is often in the form of geometric shapes with animation. This is something that almost anyone can understand and simple shapes and movement can be quite stunning when done well.

The good news is this aesthetic can work for almost any type of website. Try it for a redesign when you don’t have photography that feels appropriate in the current environment or if you want to create focus for content that drives website visitors to the words or scroll. This works with more abstract concepts when they are simple and help you move quickly from the visual to text.

Here’s how each of the examples handles abstract art elements:

Indicius uses bouncing circles that move toward text and down the screen to drive users to the headline and scroll action.

With Code uses a fun fuzzy circle with different animations to draw you in.

Appimized uses bright color and a monotone scheme with geometric shapes to sell its services.

3. Images That Make You Think

This might be the most visually interesting, and thought-provoking, website design trend we’ve seen in a while. These designs all feature images with a little something different or unusual that make you think.

There are a lot of different ways to do this – marry photographs and illustrations, create imaginary imagery, animations or effects, visual tricks that play on depth perception or create pseudo-3D effects.

The commonality is that the visual is so striking and unusual that website visitors stop and engage with the design. What do the “oddball” visuals mean? What message do they convey? How did they do that?

All of the questions could be associated with this different style of visual representation.

Bling uses a combination of a photo with illustrated animated elements to draw the eye. The yin and yang between reality and fantasy is quickly evident and makes you want to know more. (It doesn’t hurt that the animation uses dollars and lightning.)

Kibun is interesting because the photo choices create an optical illusion of depth. It matches the content of the design well because the website features artistic textile panels with an artistic design. The illusion is in the angles and coloring of photographs and their placements on the screen. The only downside of this design is that it loses the artistic panache on mobile because the images stack.

Oddball images can sell. We Are Mad stands out because it uses a contrived image, but doesn’t go oversized with it. The more subtle placement is ideal and arguably more attention-grabbing.

Conclusion

Website design can be a powerful thing, as these trends and examples show. Don’t discredit the power of choices in color, imagery, animation, and text when creating a digital experience. Design can mean a lot of different things depending on the audience as these examples show.

At the same time, these design trends are powerful and meaningful. They provide context into our world, our time, and our feelings. Don’t be afraid to experiment and make a statement with your design work. Just remember to keep in mind all potential impacts (positive and negative) before taking the project live.

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Why AI & Automation Are Actually Friends to Design

Artificial intelligence. Just hearing the phrase has been a trigger for many in the technology world since that creepy Haley Joel Osment film circa 2001. But more recently, artificial intelligence and machine learning strike fear into the hearts of skilled workers for an entirely different reason: job security, or lack thereof.

Smart-home devices, streaming services, self-checkouts, even Google searches are ways that artificial intelligence has seeped into everyday life, exemplifying the abilities of computers and machines to master both simple and complex tasks. In some instances, these technological advancements make our lives easier, but for some people, their proliferation has meant job loss and skill replacement. There’s no wonder that when artificial intelligence starts being mentioned along with web design and site creation, the spidey senses of designers all over the world start tingling.

designers think outside the box, something that AI just can’t do

But let’s get real about what AI and automation really mean for designers for a second. Talented designers with busy schedules should view these advancements as virtual assistants. For some small businesses on a limited budget, the websites that artificial intelligence can pump out might be fine…for a while. However, as businesses grow, change, require updating and customization to adapt to their customer base, the expertise of creative and talented designers will always be needed. Even the best AI that we see today is limited by evaluating, replicating, and revising what already exists. It may be able to mix 1,000 different color schemes into 10 million potential combinations, but great designers think outside the box, something that AI just can’t do.

In fact, rather than being scared of automation, designers ought to embrace automation and artificial intelligence as a way to unleash their creative thinking. Delegate repetitive, straightforward tasks to the right software, and suddenly you have time to bring your best ideas to the table and push the boundaries of your own innovation. 

Where AI has Failed in Design

The ultimate goal of artificial intelligence and automation in design work is a grand vision that has yet to be realised.

Consider the case of The Grid, which began as a crowdfunding campaign in 2014. The “revolutionary” product posed itself as an artificial intelligence solution for building thoughtfully, yet automatically, designed websites in five minutes. Research “Reviews of the Grid” in any search engine and you’ll be met with scathing criticism with only some small praise sprinkled in. Most of the initial users cite underwhelming results, the feeling of being duped by the Grid’s marketing tactics, nonsensical placement of text, and ultimately, the Grid being a complete waste of money for the resulting product. Even at the low cost of $100, compared to hiring a talented designer, most users felt their investment was wasted.

For the AI capabilities that exist now, most small business owners, or those looking to put together a simple website, are better off using drag and drop site builders (Wix, Squarespace, Weebly, etc) that have been around for ages. Even so, there are plenty of businesses still willing to hire designers to take this simple task off their plate due to a lack of technical expertise or lack of time. And let’s be honest, are there even enough talented (keyword here!) designers out there to keep up with the millions of websites created every year, without each one working themselves to death? 

Where Automation Shines for Designers

Fortunately for good designers, it appears for now that the days of artificial intelligence completely taking over their jobs is a fantasy. However, what AI and automation do offer designers is a solid starting point for success, eliminating much of the lower-level grunt work that most designers would rather skip anyway.

Even well-received AI website builders like Firedrop still require a basic eye for design and specialised knowledge to produce truly unique, high-converting, and user-friendly websites. Tools and practices that designers should adopt are the artificial intelligence and automation resources that will help them do their jobs better, faster, and leave them with more time to focus on project elements that AI cannot accomplish on its own.

Bridging the Gap Between Designers and Developers

Well-established brands are likely to already have design systems in place that guide the creation of new elements across their digital profiles whether on social media, various mobile apps, or different sections of a website. But even in large corporations — excepting those who have perfected the process — there’s often a breakdown between a designer’s vision and resulting product from the developers. It stems from the basic difference in how they each approach their work and the limitations of the systems they use.

While component libraries — or even full design systems for that matter — won’t reconcile every question, they provide both developers and designers a source of truth to work from that both parties can understand. Design collaboration tools like Invision and Visme, specifically, keep designers and developers on the same page with automated version saving and code-friendly workflows.  

Understanding the Consumer

I don’t suggest using artificial intelligence to produce content for your site

Digging into and understanding the behaviours and habits of site users is a relatively new component of site design, but offers invaluable insights. Tools like HotJar, Mouseflow, or Smartlook make it simple to see holes or leaks in your conversion funnels, detect which page elements users are interacting with, and which they’re not interested in to refine the look and feel of a page for maximum conversions. Even though these tools provide the data, it still takes a keen eye and understanding of design to implement the right changes to improve site performance.

Site content is another way that artificial intelligence has the potential to improve our understanding of customer behaviour and improve site performance for individual users. I don’t suggest using artificial intelligence to produce content for your site, no matter how much the results have improved. However, static landing pages or a single set of further reading recommendations are unlikely to appeal to the majority of site visitors. Artificial intelligence tools like CliClap and Personyze instantly collect and analyse consumer data to provide dynamic, personalised experiences that drive more leads and encourage conversions. Creative designers will also learn from this data to improve customer experience with other pages or elements throughout the site.

Removing Distracting, Time-Sucking Administrative Tasks

Because “artificial intelligence” has become a term with such negative connotations, we often overlook the simple way that AI actually makes our work lives better and easier. Machine learning in email filtering is a great example of this. Consider a simple interface like a Gmail inbox. We have the option to mark certain senders as spam or as important, and our inbox learns that type of communication is and isn’t useful to the user. Pandora, Spotify, Apple Music, and more all take cues from the user behaviour of liking a certain song, artists, or genre of music to build customised playlists. There are a myriad of ways that artificial intelligence and its branches of disciplines merge with our everyday lives. 

Some of the most useful automations for business, and especially for designers, are related to the administrative tasks that frequently take time away or distract from more pressing projects. A perfect example of automation that can relieve stress and cut down on mindless work is an email autoresponder. I’ve always found that having time blocked off in my calendar to tackle complex or important projects helps me to focus on the task at hand and be more efficient. In order to more effectively block out my time, closing my email and setting an autoresponder to reply to all incoming emails serves two purposes: 

  1. Lets those trying to get in touch with me know that I only check my email at certain times of the day and that my response may not be immediate — tempering their expectations of when they might hear from me.
  2. Relieves my personal stress of being tethered to my inbox, splitting my focus, and also saves the time of having to initially respond to each email individually. 

This is just one simple way to use automation in your email, although there are many others to explore.

While Zapier isn’t the only workflow automation service on the market, it’s probably the most well known. Workflow automation reduces time spent on mind-numbing, repetitive tasks and helps designers connect apps that might not natively work together. Do you keep a task list in Todoist? Set up a Zap, then create a task in Todoist anytime someone mentions you on Asana or assigns you a task in Trello.

This is especially helpful for freelance designers who work with multiple clients across various project management platforms. The potential for automation to relieve unnecessary mental overhead for designers is nearly limitless.

Don’t be Afraid of AI, Embrace It

The bottom line of this brief overview of artificial intelligence and automation in design is that this emerging technology isn’t something designers should be scared of. In fact, it’s something to welcome with open arms because ultimately it can make our jobs, and our lives, better. Leave the monotonous tasks of collecting and analysing huge amounts of data or administrative minutiae to the machines; they can handle it.

Save the interesting, creative, abstract work for the talented designers who can turn AI recommendations into unique and intuitive digital experiences. Making the relationship between artificial intelligence and design symbiotic will yield the best results for every entity involved: the business, the AI, and yes, even the designer.

 

Featured image via Unsplash.

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Le fonds SAP.iO investit dans Jina AI, société de recherche basée sur les réseaux de neurones

BERLIN – SAP SE (NYSE : SAP) annonce que son fonds d’investissement, SAP.iO Fund, a soutenu Jina AI, une entreprise berlinoise fournissant une solution de recherche basée sur les réseaux de neurones, en open source.

Jina AI combine les récentes avancées en matière de Machine Learning en traitement du langage naturel, vision et reconnaissance vocale dans une nouvelle plate-forme de recherche, afin d’offrir une plus grande précision, flexibilité et adaptabilité aux entrées de recherche.

Le projet principal de Jina AI, Jina on GitHub, permet aux utilisateurs de créer une solution de recherche native dans le cloud, fonctionnant sur la base du Deep Learning. Jina permet de réduire de plusieurs mois à quelques minutes le temps nécessaire à la construction d’un réseau de neurones prêt pour la production et adapté aux environnements commerciaux ; qui exigent un cycle de développement rapide. Depuis la sortie de On GitHub en mai 2020, ce projet a déjà attiré plus de 2 000 engagements de la part de 48 contributeurs du monde entier. Dès maintenant, Jina prend en charge la recherche de texte, d’image, de vidéo, d’audio et de données multimodales. D’autres types de données seront pris en charge à l’avenir.

« Alors que les entreprises accélèrent leurs transformations numériques, un besoin est apparu pour une recherche d’entreprise plus efficace et précise » a déclaré Ram Jambunathan, vice-président senior de SAP et directeur général de SAP.iO. « Nous sommes enthousiasmés par le potentiel de Jina AI à fournir une solution de recherche précise aux clients de SAP. »

Jina AI a été fondée par le Dr Han Xiao, qui est connu pour le développement de l’infrastructure de recherche de nouvelle génération pour l’application de messagerie de Tencent, WeChat. Il est également connu pour son leadership au sein du bureau du programme Open Source de Tencent, où il a encouragé la culture open source et de développement de la société. Xiao a été membre du conseil d’administration de la Linux Foundation AI en 2019 et est fondateur et président de l’association germano-chinoise de l’IA.

 

The post Le fonds SAP.iO investit dans Jina AI, société de recherche basée sur les réseaux de neurones appeared first on SAP France News.

Source de l’article sur sap.com

AccessiBe Review 2020: Solving Web Accessibility with AI and Scalability

Web accessibility is important for two reasons:

  1. Being ADA & WCAG compliant is required by law (we’ll explain this further) so if your website isn’t compliant, you can get sued.
  2. It allows people with disabilities to browse your website, which increases your potential audience and it is the decent thing to do.

In this accessiBe review, we’ll cover:

How Does accessiBe Work

accessiBe is an automated solution that combines two applications to achieve full compliance.

Foreground application: the accessibility interface. This is the accessibility menu that allows users with disabilities to adjust the various UI and design elements on your website so it meets their unique needs.

Background application: proprietary AI technology that’s responsible for the ‘heavy lifting’, screen-reader, and keyboard navigation optimization.

The combination of these two applications is unique for accessiBe for a few reasons. While most available accessibility solutions offer just one of the two or rely on manual remediation, accessiBe checks both boxes and does it in a fully automated way.

Additionally, and most importantly, accessiBe continuously scans your website, every 24 hours, identifying and fixing new accessibility issues as they arise. Websites are dynamic – meaning, keep updating constantly with new content, pages, images and so on; being ADA and WCAG compliant is an ongoing concern, not a one-time fix.

How to Install and Setup accessiBe

You install accessiBe by inserting a single line of code on your website.

From your end, that’s all it takes.

The first thing that happens is that the accessibility interface appears on your website. The menu is available via the accessibility icon (that also appears automatically.)

Source: accessiBe website

Next, the AI application scans and analyzes your website for accessibility issues and compatibility with screen-readers and keyboard navigation requirements and fixes them. This automated process takes 48 hours.

Once the initial 48 hours have elapsed, your website is compliant.

From here on, accessiBe automatically scans your website every 24 hours to identify and fix new accessibility issues as they arise due to website updates.

Why Ongoing Compliance is Important

We’ve mentioned this already, but it’s important to stress this point.

Whether you have an e-commerce website or a company website, you keep updating and changing your website; new items go up for sale, new videos and content pieces are added. Every addition or removal from your website has the potential of creating accessibility gaps (like missing alt text for images.)

By continuously scanning and fixing your website, accessiBe ensures that you stay compliant. An accessibility audit remediates your website for the specific point in time the audit took place. Meaning, you’ll need to audit your website periodically to remain compliant, which is a costly affair. With accessiBe you don’t need to worry about this.

accessiBe Front End Features – The Accessibility Interface

The accessiBe accessibility interface (the menu that is available for users) is installed automatically on your website once you insert the line of code. Let’s look at the various features that are available for people with disabilities.

Accessibility Profiles Explained

First, it allows you to choose from a pre-defined set of profiles optimized for various disability needs:

When one of the profiles is selected, the required adjustments are instantly applied to your entire website.

For example, The ADHD Friendly Profile creates a reading mark that follows your mouse movements that diminish distractions and allows better focus:

The Cognitive Disability Profile frames all the elements in bounding boxes and adds an ‘reading cursor’ that acts as your mouse to allow enhanced orientation:

Each of the predefined profiles includes a suite of features that target the unique accessibility needs of the disability; the Epilepsy Safe Profile prevents videos from playing automatically, dims all the colors on your website and eliminates flashing and blinking animations; the Visually Impaired Profile enhances all your website’s visuals, enlarges all fonts to allow most visual impairments conditions (degrading eyesight, tunnel vision, cataract, glaucoma and more) to be able to browse your website with ease.

The last two profiles, Blind Users and Keyboard Navigation, work in unison. They allow blind and motor-impaired individuals to browse and use your website as they are used to, through screen-readers and keyboard functionality, respectively.

Two things need to be mentioned here:

  1. Blind individuals have screen-readers installed on their computers in the OS-level, meaning, on the hard drive of the computer. They use them to navigate the internet by having the software read for them every text that appears on the screen. As can be seen in the screenshot above, the Blind User profile is ‘launched’ automatically once accessiBe detects that the user is using a screen-reader. This is a crucial functionality since obviously blind users aren’t able to locate the accessibility icon.
  2. The same goes for individuals that are using the keyboard instead of a mouse to navigate the web, both the motor-impaired and the blind. accessiBe detects and automatically enables keyboard navigation on your website.

On top of the predefined accessibility profiles, accessiBe’s interface allows for further adjustments that can be controlled specifically to allow a personalized browsing experience according to the user’s needs. Let’s look at these adjustments.

Accessibility Content Adjustments Explained

The content adjustments allow you to control every aspect of the written content on your website. The menu looks like this:

Each of these elements allows for granular control of the way content, or text, is presented. From altering the entire website’s text to a readable, sans-serif font that is easier to follow, to highlighting titles and links, to adjusting font size, the spacing between lines and letters and using a text magnifier that follows your cursor on the screen.

Here’s how it looks with Highlight Titles and Highlight Links turned on:

You can see all the links are highlighted with an orange bounding box while all titles are highlighted with a blue bounding box.

Accessibility Color Adjustments Explained

The color adjustments allows users to control every aspect of the color scheme on the website:

From adjusting contrast and saturation, to switching the entire website to a monochrome color scheme, to adjusting textual elements and background colors. Let’s look at a few examples.

Here’s a side-by-side of default appearance and the Dark Contrast adjustment turned on:

And here’s how it looks with the Monochrome adjustment turned on:

Accessibility Orientation Adjustments Explained

The orientation adjustments allow full control of ‘distractions’ that make it hard for individuals with epilepsy, ADHD, and cognitive disability to browse the web:

As such, the orientation adjustments allow users to mute sound, hide images, stop animations and additional ‘focus’ features such as an enlarged cursor and reading assistance that highlights the text being read.

Here’s how the Remove Images adjustment works:

accessiBe Back End Features

Unlike ‘accessibility plugins’ (more on that later) accessiBe provides a comprehensive back end treatment to your website – automated, AI-powered analysis of compatibility with accessibility requirements and fixing of the elements that need adjustment.

It should be noted that 70% of the WCAG compliance requirements deal with screen-reader and keyboard navigation compatibility and all these requirements are not answered by installing an accessibility interface widget that merely makes UI and design adjustments.

For example, an accessibility widget will enable you to enlarge the font on your website, to adjust the saturation or to highlight links, but it won’t enable a blind individual to differentiate between a shopping cart icon and a checkout icon, nor will it enable a motor impaired individual to easily navigate a menu.

This is a crucial consideration to make when choosing a web accessibility solution. Being WCAG compliant is a YES / NO situation. Your website is either compliant or it’s not, there is no middle ground here.

accessiBe’s back end features come to solve and answer all these compatibility issues that enable full screen-reader and keyboard navigation functionalities.

Screen Reader Compatibility Explained

Screen Reader is a software for blind individuals to use computers and browse the web. As the name suggests, the software reads aloud what is seen on the screen for blind individuals.

The screen reader software is installed on the computer. But in order for it to work with websites, the website needs to be compatible with the software. To achieve compatibility with screen reader software, WCAG requires that a website should adhere to a set of attributes called Accessible Rich Internet Applications (ARIA) that are installed within the website’s code, allowing it to ‘communicate’ with the screen reader.

Let’s take social icons as an example. We are all familiar with those icons – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram – they are instantly recognizable for us visually. A screen reader software doesn’t actually ‘see’ elements on the screen, rather it scans the website’s code to understand what appears on the screen. As such, a Facebook icon code simply says ‘link’ and has the URL that directs the user when clicking the link.

So with a website that isn’t compatible with a screen reader, that doesn’t have ARIA tags implemented, the screen reader will read to the blind person “link” for the Facebook icon; not very helpful, is it?

When ARIA tags are implemented, additional information is added to the Facebook icon – and any other visual link on the website – that describes what is the link. So the screen reader will read to the blind person “Facebook link”.

It’s not difficult to imagine the scope and effort of the work needed in order to implement ARIA tags on your entire website.

Keyboard Navigation Compatibility Explained

Keyboard navigation means that motor-impaired individuals are using their computers only through their keyboard, rather than a mouse. Scrolling, clicking links and menu buttons, opening and closing tabs – everything is done using designated keys.

There are many issues relating to keyboard navigation as today’s websites are highly complex, layered with content elements, and react dynamically to user behavior. Any element of the website must be compatible to allow full keyboard navigation.

Let’s look at a popup as an example.

Popups can be triggered for a variety of reasons. For mouse users, it is a simple occurrence; you can bring the cursor to the area of the popup, click on one of the fields to input details or click the X to close the popup.

But how do you handle the popup using only the keyboard? How do you differentiate between ‘regular’ functionalities of the website and that of the popup? How do you ‘shift the focus’ of the keystrokes to a layered element? You need to allow unique keystrokes to operate the popup, keystrokes that are activated only when a popup appears.

It’s one example of the many challenges making your website compatible with keyboard navigation. The list of WCAG requirements for compatibility with keyboard navigation is a long one, and understandably so as it needs to enable motor-impaired individuals to navigate your website with the same ease as the rest of us using a mouse.

How accessiBe’s Background Processing Achieves Screen Reader and Keyboard Navigation Compatibility

Without getting too technical, what accessiBe does is scan the entire code of your website and adds keyboard functionalities and ARIA tags to various elements on your website directly. It won’t interfere with your site’s code, but rather add an additional ‘layer’.

accessiBe’s AI ‘learned’ all of ARIA’s tags and keyboard functionalities required by WCAG and when scanning your website’s code implements all the required adjustments to achieve full compliance.

How accessiBe Makes Menus Accessible

Menus are a good example for understanding what the accessiBe background processing does and the benefits it provides.

We recognize menus on websites instantly, because we saw thousands and thousands of them. We know how they look, we know what their functionality is, and we know where to hover and click in order to reach the various pages of the website.

But if you remember, we said that screen readers don’t ‘look’ at the screen, but rather scan the site’s code to understand structure, identify links and read them aloud with all the text that appears on the page.

So menus are coded as a list structure, because in a way they are. A screen reader will announce a menu as a list, which might be confusing for a blind user. Additionally, many menus have drop-down sub-menus, accessible via a hover or by clicking a little triangle. Without proper ARIA tagging, a screen reader will miss the sub-menu.

What accessiBe does is adding readable tags for every element in the menu so a screen reader will recognize and announce each element properly. The ‘list’ code structure will get a “menu” tag, and the sub-menu will get a tag for ‘sub-menu’, thus allowing the blind individual to utilize the full functionality of the website.

Additionally, accessiBe alternates the tags on-the-fly while the site is being browsed. Once a sub-menu has been opened, a tag that says “sub-menu open” will be added to indicate to the screen reader what has happened, and will be changed with the tag “sub-menu close” once the sub-menu has been closed.

Image Recognition

One of the key elements of accessibility compliance with screen readers is to provide accurate alternative descriptions for images, known as alt text.

accessiBe utilizes various image, object and character recognition technologies (OCR and Iris) to provide highly descriptive and accurate depictions of images displayed on the website. Without adding screen-reader compatible alt tags to images a blind individual would simply not be aware of the existence of images, and miss out on the information usually displayed on images.

Let’s look at the following banner images from an e-commerce website:

As you can see, valuable information is communicated via the images – sales and discounts – the kind of information any shopper would want to know.

This is the descriptive text that accessiBe’s AI assigned to these images, completely automated with no human intervention (from left to right):

  • Image contains: shopping,  shorts, woman, ashion; image text: extra 50% off shorts
  • Image contains: shopping, red top, woman, jeans, fashion; image text: 50% off bottoms
  • Image contains: shopping, blue jumpsuit, woman, fashion, bed, ; image text: 50% off jumpsuits & rompers
  • Image contains: shopping, shoes, ocean, woman, fashion; image text: 50% off shoes

Again, doing this kind of work for the hundreds to thousands of images that are displayed on every e-commerce website requires a lot of time and effort. accessiBe achieves this in a completely automated way, and every image added to your website instantly gets its alt text.

In-Depth Feature Review and Demo of accessiBe

Comparison of accessiBe with Accessibility Plugins

There are many web accessibility plugins out there. They offer a ‘quick fix’ for ADA and WCAG compliance – add an accessibility menu and you’re done.

As tempting as it may sound, the distinction between an accessibility menu and being fully compliant must be made.

As we’ve mentioned earlier, there are two parallel tasks that need to handle in order to achieve ADA and WCAG compliance:

  • Front end – UI and design adjustments, achieved by the Accessibility Interface (the visible menu for content, font, color and orientation adjustments)
  • Back end – screen-reader and keyboard navigation compatibility, achieved by implementing ARIA tags and further code adjustments

Reminder: 70% of accessibility compliance requirements deal with back end adjustments, meaning, screen-readers, and keyboard navigation compatibility.

Accessibility plugins, whether free or paid, only answer the front-end requirements. Meaning, after installing an accessibility plugin, you are just 30% compliant. Since accessibility compliance is not a scale (you don’t ‘get points’ for making it halfway through) you’ll need to turn to an additional provider to do the back end work.

accessiBe, on the other hand, provides a full accessibility compliance solution, covering both UI and design requirements through the accessibility interface AND screen-reader and keyboard navigation compatibility requirements through it’s automated AI technology that analyzes and makes adjustments in the code-level of the website.

Benefits of Using accessiBe Over Accessibility Plugins

  • Achieving complete accessibility compliance
  • Dealing with a single provider, rather than two or more
  • Cost-efficiency (manual audit and remediation service are expensive)
  • Complete compatibility with screen-readers and keyboard navigation
  • Enabling true accessibility to individuals with disabilities

Comparison of accessiBe with Manual Accessibility Services

Manual accessibility services can help you achieve full accessibility compliance, but it comes with two major disclaimers:

  1. You’ll still need an additional solution for an accessibility interface, which the service companies don’t provide
  2. The compliance achieved is for the point in time the audit and remediation were performed. Let’s explain this point further.

Companies that offer a manual accessibility service assign a team of accessibility experts to do an audit of your website. The result of this audit is a lengthy document detailing all the accessibility faults that your website has. It is a valuable document as it gives you a precise depiction of what needs to be fixed in order to achieve compliance.

From here there are two possible paths:

You can either take the audit results to your development team and have them remediate your website accordingly.

Or, some of the service companies offer a remediation service, meaning, they’ll assign their own engineers to manually make the necessary changes in your website. Needless to say this extra service isn’t given for free.

In both cases, you are looking at a process that takes weeks if not months (depending on the number of pages your website has.)

Additionally, since it is a manual process done by experts, it comes with a hefty price tag.

But most importantly, the audit and remediation hold for the time they were done. Unless you have a 100% static website, meaning, you do not make any changes to your website – never add or remove products, never update content – the ‘effect’ of the audit and remediation fades away with time.

Since the process was manual, any changes you make to your website must be handled manually accessibility-wise. You added a new banner with a link to items on sale, you’ll need to go into the code and add ARIA tags. You added a new image, you’ll need to go into the code and add alt text compatible with screen-readers. And so on.

Some of the manual accessibility service companies offer maintenance services as well. They will periodically audit your website (manually) and provide a remediation document that will need to be implemented (manually) either by your development team or by theirs for an additional cost.

These costs add up. Having your website audited and remediated for compliance on an ongoing basis takes time, effort, and money. But you don’t have a choice. Being ADA and WCAG compliant is an ongoing task, since websites are dynamic and being updated regularly.

accessiBe, on the other hand, offers a 100% automated and ongoing compliance solution. The initial audit and remediation process is carried out – with no human intervention – in 48 hours (compared to weeks or months by a manual provider). Then, your website is scanned every 24 hours to identify and fix accessibility issues using accessiBe AI technology. Meaning, compliance maintenance is constantly carried out ‘in the background’ keeping you ADA & WCAG compliant at all times.

Which brings us to another crucial point regarding manual accessibility services. They make it extremely hard for you to scale up. Every business has a constant aim to grow, but with a manual accessibility service, scalability becomes a pain point. The more you grow the more time, effort and money you need to put in to remain compliant. You want to add another section to your website, you want to launch an additional website? Using a manual accessibility service will hold you back. You’ll need to account for additional time before going live to manually enable accessibility and additional funds. For fast-moving companies, time becomes a serious burden.

Since accessiBe offers an automated and ongoing accessibility solution, scalability is not an issue.

Benefits of Using accessiBe Over Manual Accessibility Services

  • Time-efficient
  • Cost-effective
  • 100% automated
  • Ongoing compliance
  • Infinite scale
  • Single provider for full compliance (front end and back end)

How to Check Your Web Accessibility Compliance Level

Before you get started on your path to being ADA & WCAG compliant it’s important to understand the current state of accessibility your website provides.

Obviously, if you’ve never taken any steps to make your website accessible to individuals with disabilities, there’s no need for this – your website isn’t accessible in any way.

This is actually highly important if you have taken steps to make your website accessible, like for example, installing one of the accessibility plugins. You might be under the impression that by doing so your website is both compliant and accessible to individuals with disabilities.

There’s a simple and quick way to face the accessibility reality.

accessiBe offers a free, automated compliance audit tool available online named aCe. It uses accessiBe AI technology to scan your site, detect accessibility issues and provide quite a detailed report on the various elements that impact your website’s accessibility, and those include:

  • General score
  • Clickables
  • Titles
  • Orientation
  • Menus
  • Graphics
  • Forms
  • Documents
  • Readability
  • Carousels
  • Tables

Each of these elements is given a score and some explanations to the specific issues that need attention within the context of these elements.

In addition to gaining a compliance audit with the remediation steps needed to be taken in order to fix these issues, aCe gives you a very clear idea of where you stand and what needs your attention in order to achieve compliance.

We gave it a try. We ran a website that has installed one of the accessibility plugins (which was recognized, by name, by the aCe audit tool) and the results cement the point that these plugins aren’t comprehensive enough of a solution for true ADA & WCAG compliance.

Here are the results:

As can be expected, the UI and design side got relatively high scores, due to the accessibility plugin installed on the website, but anything that has to do with back end compatibility with screen readers and keyboard navigation got a failing score.

Conclusion

accessiBe is an automated and comprehensive web accessibility solution that achieves ongoing compliance with ADA and WCAG regulations for your website.

It offers a unique combination of front end and back end compatibility, meaning, it provides an end-to-end solution for both user-facing accessibility interface, and compatibility with screen readers and keyboard navigation.

The solution offered by accessiBe is a no-touch, no-code, continuous compliance utilizing proprietary AI technology that audits and remediates your website.

It is by far one of the most affordable web accessibility solutions, starting at $490 for websites with up to 1,000 unique pages.

When compared to accessibility plugins, accessiBe’s offering is robust and comprehensive, delivering full compliance that plugins aren’t able to.

When compared to accessibility manual services, accessiBe offers a speedy and automated audit and remediation process compared to the lengthy, manual and highly expensive offering of the service companies. Additionally, accessiBe, unlike accessibility manual services, delivers ongoing compliance and the ability to scale with ease and speed.

The combination of AI-based audit and remediation, the most comprehensive accessibility interface on the market, ongoing compliance, scalability, and a highly affordable plan makes accessiBe stand out from the competition by offering a unique end-to-end solution for achieving ADA and WCAG compliance in a fast and simple way.

 

[– accessiBe is a partner of WebdesignerDepot –]

Featured image via Unsplash.

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