San Francisco Opera Boosts Web Accessibility Efforts With Monsido

San Francisco Opera

The San Francisco Opera has been one of the world’s leading opera companies for more than 97 years and was founded in 1923 by Gaetano Merola. It is the second-largest opera company in North America and is synonymous with what the Bay Area is known for: entrepreneurship, innovation, and community involvement. Their mission is to bring together growing audiences to experience the opera’s transformative power.

Problem: The Search for an Easy-to-Use and Affordable Tool

Eric Rubio is San Francisco Opera’s Chief Information Officer, supporting the IT team of three. On the team is Mark Wladika, Web Development Manager, who manages the operation of the company’s website. They were looking for a tool to help them construct a more rigorous process over their website management and maintenance. Eric and Mark were also working on improving their web accessibility and needed a tool to help support their efforts. Being a not-for-profit organization made it essential that the tool they selected to help with their website management workload was easy to use and had good value for money. They made the decision to purchase in Monsido in October 2019.

Solution: Digestible Reporting With Monsido

Mark and Eric are both administrators on the Monsido platform and oversee 12 team members with different roles on the platform. Their workflow on Monsido is centered around the weekly scan reports. Eric, in particular, found the reports useful in giving him little snapshots into the site’s performance as well as areas to focus on for improvement.

The weekly reports give us an opportunity to step back and observe how the website is performing. It’s also helpful for us in planning for the future of the website and what will need to be improved to better serve our patrons, shared Eric.

The consistent scans and reports also allow him to tackle basic QA issues that can affect user experience, like misspellings and broken links, quickly.

Monsido certainly made it easier to understand the errors that are going on on our website and to find and respond to the problem, said Eric.

Benefits: Giving Their Accessibility a Nudge in the Right Direction

As mentioned, a key focus area of the San Francisco Opera’s web team is accessibility. As one of the leading opera companies, it was their priority to improve ADA compliance, accessibility, and inclusivity to better serve their customers both online and offline. They were extremely focused on continuing progress on their website’s appearance and functionality over the past few years, and the Monsido Accessibility module was the perfect tool to help them achieve this goal.

When they first started using Monsido, the San Francisco Opera website was already at a reasonable level of accessibility, but it was still not where Eric, Mark, or the Opera’s senior leadership wanted it to be. Monsido gave their accessibility efforts an extra push in the right direction. When they first started out with Monsido, they had a compliance metric around 80%. Since actively using Monsido, they have managed to boost their ADA accessibility and inclusivity up to its current level at 90.17% with a long term goal of achieving 99% per WCAG 2.1 AA guidelines.

I remember when Mark used to manually scan the highest traffic pages for ADA compliance before we had Monsido, said Eric. Having this tool saves him dozens of hours every year, which is especially valuable given the lean resourcing of a nonprofit performing arts organization.

Another notable benefit of using Monsido was having insight into very specific areas of their website which revealed the performance and metric gaps that conventional analytics reporting can not catch.

Monsido covers a lot of those holes in analytics, said Mark. It’s very useful for reporting on the website and answering questions posed by stakeholders and senior management that traditional analytics can’t always answer, he added.

Eric and Mark are also looking forward to working with more Monsido products, such as the Performance module, to improve basic performance issues, such as large image sizes, on their site.

San Francisco Opera logo

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