Harland Clarke: Confidence in eCommerce Site Accessibility Compliance
Prioritizing accessibility and becoming proactive
When accessibility started to come up more often in client conversations, leadership at Harland Clarke decided to make accessibility a permanent priority. Executives within the company wanted their eCommerce sites– namely, their check ordering platforms used by major financial institutions– to be WCAG conformant. With this new directive, the team at Harland Clarke reevaluated set off to improve their accessibility tools and processes and shift them further “left” in the development lifecycle.
axe Auditor provides Harland Clarke’s developers with a running list of issues on eCommerce site pages.
Upgrading to Deque enterprise tools
Harland Clarke searched for a partner to evaluate their current state of accessibility and lead them on the path to sustained success. Bob Andreasen, Executive Director of Software Quality Assurance, realized his team could continue to do the work with free tools but, ultimately, couldn’t confidently declare compliance without upgrading to enterprise tooling. “You’re not going to get there with free scanning tools alone,” says Andreasen. “That told us we needed to graduate from the free tools to something more enterprise-level.” As a result, Harland Clarke licensed axe DevTools and axe Auditor from Deque to grow their accessibility practice.
Deque came up as one of the leading vendors in the field. We liked what Deque was pitching in terms of the toolset. I think one of the big things we learned talking to Deque was, ‘you’re not going to get there with scanning tools alone’… that was a big revelation to us.
— Bob Andreasen Executive Director of Software Quality Assurance, Harland Clarke
Harland Clarke’s check ordering platforms deliver an accessible user experience.
Integrating axe DevTools and axe Auditor into the CI/CD process
Harland Clarke integrates Deque’s enterprise tools axe DevTools and axe Auditor into their existing CI/CD process. Axe Auditor provides developers with an overall understanding of the total issues across their sites, supplying developers with a running list of what issues need to be assigned and resolved. Together, axe DevTools and axe Auditor help Harland Clarke’s development and testing teams detect, organize and fix accessibility issues across dozens of sites at once.
“Even if you have a site that is compliant, you’re constantly introducing accessibility issues back in the wild,” says Andreasen. “We want to make sure we can stay compliant, and that’s where we really see the value of the axe DevTools API as a continuous monitor that alerts us when we reintroduce accessibility issues back into the site.”
“Having tools that allow you to automate the scans and integrate them into your build process helps a lot because you don’t have to rely on somebody remembering to do it as part of your release process– it just happens automatically.” –Bob Andreasen
Client confidence in accessibility compliance
Accessibility is both a client-driven and a smart business decision for Harland Clarke. New client sites are created often, which means Harland Clarke’s development teams must be agile and adaptable. Deque tools help instill confidence in Harland Clarke’s clients who require their eCommerce sites to be accessible. “There’s instant credibility that comes with having an enterprise tool behind us, not just a free tool you can get off the internet,” says Andreasen.
“We want to make sure we can stay compliant, and that’s where we really see the value of the axe DevTools API as a continuous monitor that alerts us when we reintroduce accessibility issues back into the site.” –Bob Andreasen
From a reactive to proactive accessibility practice
Shifting from a reactive to proactive process helped position Harland Clarke to practice sustainable and effective accessibility. Now that new development is being considered with accessibility in mind, Harland Clarke is set up for success as accessibility issues are less likely to be introduced and issues will be easier to remediate. By establishing a dedicated accessibility practice and adopting enterprise-level tooling, Harland Clarke provides an easy, accessible experience for customers and clients to complete transactions through their dozens of eCommerce platforms.
“Our accessibility practice has greatly improved. We have a process and a toolset we have confidence in. We have a vision of where we want to get to. We have a plan on how we’re going to get there and how we’re going to use the toolset.”
— Bob Andreasen