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Case Study: IZ Adaptive

A leading Canadian online fashion retailer created by Izzy Camilleri, IZ Adaptive offers stylish adaptive clothes for wheelchair users and people living with limited mobility. IZ Adaptive’s fashion line is created with both function and fashion in mind, investing significant time, research, and innovative thinking into each and every piece. It features modern and sophisticated pieces, with styles not readily available in a marketplace built for a seated clientele.

When Fast and Convenient Becomes Messy...

Like over a million other online businesses, IZ Adaptive chose Shopify, the popular eCommerce platform, for their online storefront. Despite offering quick and easy ways to create new features for websites, Shopify’s image optimization tools and plug-ins that auto-generate alt text unfortunately fell short of IZ Adaptive’s digital accessibility needs and ambitions. Specifically, the plug-in IZ Adaptive was using replaced all of their alt text descriptions with product names, causing the company to fail to meet its accessibility goals, as well as to fall out of compliance with the Canadian Accessibility Act.

Thus, IZ Adaptive was looking for a boutique accessibility solutions company that would provide premium descriptions created by humans, instead of AI-generated ones. They partnered with Scribely to tackle the challenge.

IZ Adaptive’s online shop had more than 150 products, all of which were featured using sequence images to provide different angles and details of the product. The total scope of the project required image descriptions for 800 images.

Scribely's Hands-On Approach

After receiving the project objectives and timeline, a Scribely Project Manager put together a team of writers that consisted of fashion and apparel subject matter experts. Those writers kick-started the project by scanning the product pages and reviewing the existing information provided. From there, they began crafting descriptions for the product images, paying particular attention to the image sequence for each product. The writers focused on describing different details for each image and keeping descriptions concise and informative to provide the best online experience for blind and visually impaired shoppers.

Here are examples of 3 product images described in sequence for IZ Adaptive's Camilleri Boat Neck Dress.

Alt Text: Full shot, standing. Woman using transtibial prostheses. Her mid-length dress falls just below the prosthetic knee joint.
Alt Text: Full shot, seated. Woman using manual wheelchair. She wears a mid-length boat neck black dress just above the knees with cap sleeves.
Alt Text: Partial side angle, dress form. An open zipper runs full-length along the dress's side seam from the armpit to the knee.
Alt Text: Closeup. Woman models dime-sized, matte silver magnetic closures on the dress shoulder along the neckline.

From Non-Compliant to the Forefront

Scribely’s descriptions of IZ Adaptive’s product images not only improved the accessibility of the website, but also its discoverability through focusing on SEO and Google Images best practices. To achieve the desired outcome, the team naturally incorporated target keywords and search terms into the alt text whenever possible.

Following Scribely’s standardized process, all descriptions crafted were checked by the QA team for consistency, accuracy, and structure, with a final review conducted by the Project Manager prior to client delivery. To simplify the ingestion of all descriptions, a spreadsheet was created according to the Shopify platform specifications.  

A Brave New Web Experience

At the end of the project, every image on the IZ Adaptive website featured human-crafted alt text, satisfying WCAG requirements and lifting any boundaries preventing blind and visually impaired people from having a satisfying shopping experience. Furthermore, any repetitive alt text that was auto-generated by the plug-in was removed and replaced with meaningful descriptions that highlighted the right keywords and improved the website’s SEO performance. And all these changes required zero effort from IZ Adaptive, as Scribely even took on the task of entering all the descriptions directly on Shopify.

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