Businesses miss out on 3.5 million customers due to inaccessible apps

Saf Malik
November 17, 2020

One in four disabled people have trouble managing apps on their smartphones

Research carried out by RiDC (Research Institute for Disabled Consumers) has today shown that over a quarter of disabled people are unable to use smartphone and tablet apps. 

The research surveyed RiDC’s pan-disability panel members and shows that despite 83 per cent of disabled people using smartphones, one in four had difficulties accessing or managing them. Of these, 44 per cent went on to uninstall or stop using the app because of this. 

The survey, which was made up of 633 respondents, is part of a wider research project into home energy apps, funded by the Energy Industry Voluntary Redress Scheme. It showed that the main areas of app use for disabled people are communications, information, and admin. 

RiDC CEO Gordon McCullough said: “In this time of the global pandemic, disabled people risk being further isolated by not being able to use apps that serve to perform basic necessary functions. Despite increased accessibility features on mobile devices, apps do not always integrate with these functions it can be a challenge to find an app that will adequately meet differing needs.

“Not only is it increasingly urgent to rectify but it also makes good business sense. 

“There are over 14 million people in the UK, and in 2017 the UK spending power of disabled people, their carers, and families was estimated at £249 billion

“Disabled people, like all consumers, want to spend money on products that work for them – the services they need and the brands they like. 

“Barriers preventing disabled people from being able to do this is a failure that is costing UK business £420 million a week.”

The most common accessibility issues with apps included: difficulties in downloading and setting it up, poor navigation, not supporting accessibility features, crowded display, filling in forms and registering, and poor text size or font.  

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