Are your apps and websites accessible? Wondering if it’s time for you to implement accessibility testing?
If you develop websites or mobile apps, it’s important that you make them as accessible as possible. To make your mobile apps and websites more accessible, utilizing accessibility testing can help.
In this guide, we’ll tell you all what accessibility testing is and why it’s important.
What is Accessibility Testing?
Accessibility testing is the process of testing and reviewing websites and apps to make sure that they meet common accessibility standards. Accessibility testing aims to ensure that people who need to use assistive technologies can access a website or app and use it properly.
Testing for accessibility is an important part of launching a website or app. Doing so can help allow more people to access your website or app and experience all that it has to offer.
Accessibility Standards and Regulations
There are different standards and regulations that have been set for accessibility. These guidelines help define what level of accessibility mobile apps and websites need to have. There are also laws that require certain standards.
Section 508 of the U.S. Rehabilitation Act, the U.S. Air Carrier Access Act, and Canada’s Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act all outline certain requirements for accessibility. Section 508, in particular, is important. It requires that websites for federal institutions and organizations that receive federal funds be made accessible.
Many of these acts and regulations suggest that organizations follow Level AA standards when improving accessibility.
These standards have been set by the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). They suggest that organizations meet certain criteria for conformance. Meeting the set criteria ensures that the website will be understandable and usable for most people with or without disabilities.
Accessibility Testing Types
When aiming to improve accessibility for users and meet compliance standards, there are different types of accessibility testing methods that can be used. Usually, a combination of testing methods will need to be used to ensure that testing is accurate and complete.
1. Manual Testing
With manual testing, real people who have WCAG knowledge will help test your website or app. They’ll also review the code of a site manually to ensure that it conforms to WCAG standards. Manual testing will typically be necessary to fully meet WCAG 2.0 and WCAG 2.1 success criteria.
Manual accessibility testing may include manually reviewing keyboard usage and accessibility. It may also include testing content scaling and text sizing features and checking UI structural elements. Manual testing may also include the use of assistive devices such as screen readers. This way, testers can test exactly what someone with a disability might do when using a website or app.
Determining the accessibility of a website or app will require a critical eye and human judgment. By using manual testing, the accessibility of a site will be closely assessed by a human to ensure that it will function well for someone with a disability.
2. Automated Testing
With automated accessibility testing, technology and software will be used to quickly scan a website or app to find out if there are any accessibility issues that need to be addressed. There are a variety of different apps and programs you can use to scan a website for accessibility problems and issues.
Automated accessibility testing tools can work very quickly and are easy to use. The software will check your code looking for problems and will flag them as necessary. This type of testing can identify many problems such as styling issues, image contrasting, and functionality that can’t be tested as easily by manual testers.
Keep in mind that while automated testing can help to identify many different problems, it often lets many others slip through the cracks. Because of this, automated testing is best used in conjunction with manual testing if you want to ensure you stay compliant and identify all issues.
Be sure to check out https://www.qualitylogic.com/ if you need help with both manual and automated testing.
3. User Testing
In addition to testing accessibility manually or with automated software, user testing can also be helpful for ensuring great website and app accessibility. With user testing, you’ll allow real users who have disabilities to use your site and they’ll report on their experiences.
Since you’ll have real users try your website or app out, this kind of testing can very valuable for ensuring that your applications will be accessible and easy to use.
Benefits of Improving Accessibility
If you’re considering accessibility testing, you may want to consider why improving accessibility can be so useful. Here are a few of the benefits of improving accessibility.
1. Stay Compliant
As mentioned above, one of the best benefits of using accessibility testing is that it helps you stay compliant with important accessibility standards. This can help you avoid legal issues and violations. It may also help you avoid potential lawsuits as well.
By using accessibility testing, your app or website will become more accessible to those with disabilities. Your efforts are sure to be appreciated.
2. Increase Your Reach
One of the benefits of improving accessibility is that it can help to expand your audience or user base. More people will be able to access your app or website and get access to what your business has to offer.
Without improving accessibility and using accessibility testing, you’ll be making a mistake. You’ll be cutting out a wide range of people and preventing them from using your app or website.
3. Improve UX
When you improve the app or site experience for people with disabilities, there’s a side effect. You’ll likely enhance the user experience (UX) for everyone else as well.
Everyone will benefit from the increased focus you’ll put on improving the UI and enhancing the user experience. These improvements can offer great benefits to your business. They can help ensure that everyone has a better time when accessing your website or using your app.
Understanding the Importance of Accessibility Testing
If you want to increase your user base and comply with common accessibility standards, you need to make use of accessibility testing. Be sure that you fully understand how accessibility testing can help your website or app.
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