Document Type



This paper argues that the accessibility and usability of an e-commerce web site are the primary determinants of customer experience. They are also top factors for improving conversion rate and hence the return on investment. Accessibility of web sites to people with disabilities is a legal requirement in many countries. Section 805 in the US and the Disability Discrimination Act in the UK both require providers to make their web sites accessible to people with disabilities. Organizations are now realizing the social and financial benefits of making web sites accessible to people who are older or who have disabilities. The paper reviews usability and accessibility international Standards, guidelines and practice and the current state of e-commerce usability and accessibility. Case studies of e-commerce web sites accessibility and usability and an approach to their evaluation are presented. These include a major telecommunication company, a travel agency and a bank. These case studies describe examples of current practice in the United Arab Emirates; a country with a rapidly growing economy and the highest rate of Internet use in the Middle East [3]. Despite the wealth of information and guidelines available on accessibility, the web site tested neglected some basic accessibility features.