How User Accessibility Testing Creates An Inclusive User Experience?


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What is Accessibility testing?

User Accessibility Testing is described as a type of software testing conducted to ensure that individuals with disabilities such as hearing, color blindness, old age, and other marginalized people can use the application being tested. It is a subset of Testing of Usability. Disabled people use adaptive technology to help them control a product with software. There are examples of such software:

  • Speech Recognition Software – The spoken word will be translated into text, which acts as device input.
  • Software for screen readers – Used to read the text shown on the screen
  • Screen Magnification Software-Used by vision-impaired users to expand the display and make reading easy.
  • The special keyboard made for users who have motor control issues for fast typing

Why is accessibility important?

Cater to the Disabled person business

  • There are impairment problems for about 20 percent of the population.
  • 1 in 10 persons has a serious disability
  • 1 in 2 individuals over 65 have diminished capacity

If it is disabled-friendly, a software product will appeal to this wide market. Software usability challenges may be overcome if accessibility testing is part of the standard life cycle of software testing.

Abide by regulations on website accessibility solution

Legalizations have been provided by government bodies all over the world that mandate IT goods to be available to people with disabilities. The legislative actions of different governments are as follows –

  • United States: Act on Disabled Americans – 1990
  • United Kingdom: Act on Disability Discrimination – 1995
  • Australia: Act on Disability Discrimination – 1992
  • Ireland: Act of 2005 on Disability

Accessibility Testing is necessary for legal enforcement to be assured.

Avoid future civil suits

Fortune 500 corporations have been sued in the past because their goods were not disabled-friendly. A few famous cases here

  • Global Blind National Federation (NFB) vs Amazon (2007)
  • NFB and Sexton vs Goal (2007)
  • NFB Vs Settlement of AOL (1999)

It’s better to produce items that help people with disabilities and prevent future litigation.

Benefits of accessibility testing

1. Testing Accessibility will extend the user base

For mobile apps, minimizing time to market is key, but it is no excuse to force accessibility features to the end of your development phase. Adding accessibility late in the process prompts new features and bug fixes to the concerns and costs often associated with them.

A cautionary tale is provided by the Microsoft Edge browser here. The Edge browser isn’t open to blind users, even after years on the market. At the end of the development cycle, “Fixing” accessibility problems is monstrously costly, which may explain why Microsoft says that its Internet Explorer browser is used by the blind community over Edge.

2. Beyond enforcement, it drives the app.

For the usability of information and communications infrastructure and telecommunication equipment, the U.S. government has standards and guidelines. Section 255 is part of the Communications Act of 1934, and the Employment Recovery Act, which came into effect in 2001, is abbreviated as Section 508. In 2017, both were revised to ensure that federal agencies follow expectations of usability in the acquisition, usage, maintenance, and advancement of different communications devices and technologies.

An experienced usability testing firm, however, will probably inform you that enforcement is not necessary. The government doesn’t mandate research using assistive technology, despite setting requirements for accessibility. When interacting with a screen reader, your app can be Section 508 compliant while providing a highly negative user experience. Working for a website or mobile app usability testing with a U.S.-based company will help ensure that the app goes beyond compliance by also adding accessibility solutions for common sense.

3. Improves Automation

It also increases automation if you build an app that works with accessibility since many UI automation hooks are the same. For test automation, decorating controls correctly ensures they are properly decorated for usability. Let’s say that you are creating an app for YouTube. If you do not have a button appropriately decorated for automation, it will simply appear as a “button” on a screen reader. To accessibility and automated systems, a correctly designed button would declare that this is a “play button.” The use of alt text to add descriptive information to controls will boost both accessibility and automation.

4. Defines “Disability” Broadly

“Disability” is not specifically related to permanent physical impairment. It also encompasses cognitive, behavioral, and learning difficulties. Adding to these groups are individuals who are temporarily unable to complete regular work due to sickness or injury.

If you’re a broken hand programmer, you’ll be typing with one hand unless you can reach your screen, tablet, or phone using one of the much adaptive equipment available. A trained web site usability testing company should ensure that the app defines “disability” broadly to support as many users as possible on as many devices as possible. If you’re able to push the app beyond simple accessibility requirements, you could be one of the pioneers—and industry leaders—on the latest barrier of accessibility.

Accessibility Testing Tools

To make the website more acceptable and user-friendly, it must be readily available. Many usability testing methods can be used to verify the accessibility of the website.

Here are some of the common Accessibility Testing Tools:

  1. Wave
  2. TAW
  3. Accessibility Valet
  4. Accessibility Developer Tools
  5. Quick Accessibility Page Tester
  6. aDesigner
  7. WebAnywhere
  8. Web accessibility toolbar

In Software Engineering, usability testing aims to make the application more user-friendly. If due to the complexity of the web application, the following accessibility guidelines are not feasible, create one version of the website for daily users and another for disabled users. 

Accessibility is the next frontier for websites and smartphone apps. Hundreds of millions of people with vision, hearing, or mobility disorders have restricted access to online services and technology. Accessibility testing defines how well the app can be interpreted, navigated, and used, irrespective of the technology or platform used to access it.

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