The testing procedure is rarely successful unless one clearly understands the evaluation quality. Additionally, the testing procedure may reduce efficacy if the feature is dependent on human cognitive processes. Web accessibility does fit under this category. On the one hand, accessibility has several (more or less realistic) meanings. Accessibility is occasionally described in terms of efficacy and occasionally in terms of usability. Still, sadly, it is much too frequently claimed that a website is accessible merely because an automated testing instrument found no errors. The primary goal of this blog is to provide an accessibility testing checklist for ensuring that websites and web apps are as accessible as possible.
The objective of utilising the importance of information technology is simple: to create a shared understanding of what is required to make Web sites accessible so that Web designers and developers may adhere to these standards. It has never been more absolutely imperative that everyone can access the material on the website. Testing for web accessibility provides a technique to determine if the material is accessible and valuable to everyone.
Let’s first interpret accessibility testing before we proceed.
Accessibility testing is a kind of software testing that determines if a website or web app is simple for all netizens, including those with special needs or impairments. It makes sure that certain immovable circumstances do not hinder someone from accessing internet resources as readily as anybody else and is sometimes regarded as a subcategory of usability testing.
Several excellent programmes are one step beyond, including a system’s performance for users in remote locations, those with limited access and computer literacy, and those still utilizing outdated technology without modern equipment.
Web Accessibility Fundamentals
Standards for accessibility: Laws That May Apply To You Regarding WCAG 2.1
The acronym WCAG stands for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (web content accessibility guidelines). You must update the most recent version of these recommendations on the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) website promptly. To make your web content continue with accessibility, we recommend keeping yourself at par with the established guidelines for making web content usable by people with disabilities or impairments. A collection of websites known as the World Wide Accessibility Gap (WCAG) works to ensure visitors can browse their sites and access the information they need. Three degrees of accessibility compliance are available (A, AA, and AAA). Each level is more accessible than before, with level A being the bare minimum essential (but not accessible) and level AAA being the highest optimum degree of accessibility.
Checklist for Testing Accessibility of Websites
1. Make improvements to the header format
Directing the users to the website and the material they engage with is one of the most crucial aspects of web accessibility. The website’s structure will not be recognized by screen readers, particularly if the headers are not designated as such, even though it is simple to visually create headings on a website by altering the font sizes. You run the danger of having discrepancies on different pages of your website if you don’t have a set header structure. Create a framework for your website with a structured framework of headers to prevent encountering these issues.
It is essential to implement a header format to boost the content. Every web page needs a distinctive title that sums up the page’s content. Likewise, this aids in translating the page a user is viewing by screen readers. To separate material and make it easier for visitors to read and take in information, utilize H1, H2, and H3 header tags. It is handy for readers with cognitive problems because it contains the identified parts. Additionally, headers enable screen readers to vocalize the page as a reader would.
2. Upgrade the Audio & Video presentation
The most crucial point to remember is that a text option should always be accessible in a video; accessibility requires that all audio and video files have a transcript. Clear subtitles should be available in several languages for viewers with impaired hearing to comprehend video content. It is helpful for everyone who wants to see video material in a public setting without earbuds, not only those who are deaf or hard of hearing. They don’t have to make noise; they can just read the subtitles to acquire what they need.
3. Interspersing links with the texts
Links are one of the things that have operated in the same manner for years, and users have expectations that are well-established for what they see and how they engage in digital places. Developers and designers should adhere to this since it is a user expectation rather than deviate from it for aesthetic purposes. The user receives a hint to select whether or not to start engaging with the element via the visual reference of underlined text, which also ensures they are not missing out on any information. Moreover, detailed linked language is easier to read and offers consumers a better indication of what to expect when clicking the link.
4. Insert Contrasting Colors between elements and backgrounds
Visually challenged users may have trouble seeing colours on a website if there is not enough contrast between them. Green is often connected with a good answer, whereas red is typically associated with danger or a mistake. How can the same concepts be conveyed clearly without the use of colour? Users may be sure that they comprehend your message without depending on colour by using additional forms of communication like clear text and iconography.
To highlight aesthetic distinctions, you could also think about including patterns or textures. Similar to this, a crucial aspect of accessibility is ensuring a high colour contrast between the foreground and background of your website’s parts. Users with visual problems can see the screen’s content more clearly because of high contrast. To ensure people can interact with your website efficiently, it’s a good idea to test colour combinations before settling on them.
5. Site layout and support for keyboard navigation
Excellent sources of information are available on creating user-friendly websites for those who prefer to navigate using a keyboard versus a mouse. Users could need assistive equipment, such as a sip-and-puff gadget or voice-activated instructions. If a website’s navigation is complicated, a keyboard user may become annoyed by the many alternatives they must sort through to obtain the information they want. Ensure your website’s navigation only includes the elements required to lead people to where they want to go to prevent this. Additionally, check that the website’s coding adheres to recommended practices for navigation so that users of keyboards may navigate the site without having to click through pointless objects.
Optimize your web to fulfil all your needs! When creating a website’s navigation, this is very crucial. When using a keyboard to navigate, users often use the “tab” key to understand what is on the page before interacting with it. It contrasts with how someone using a mouse typically navigates a website by scanning it with their eyes before clicking a navigation item.
6. Resize the text to make it more readable.
Making sure that characters stand out from one another and that there is enough space between letters are essential considerations when selecting an accessible typeface. For accessible design, it’s also a good idea to align text to the left, make sure text can be readily scaled, and keep line lengths at about 66 characters. The writing should be large enough to be readable for people with low vision, but this is more difficult for designers. It’s not the most effortless work in the book because the text needs to line up with graphics and links without any visual or functional issues.
7. Create an Alternative Visual Access
Screen readers are necessary for those with visual impairments to understand web information, but it does not perform the accurate translation of visuals. By going through the codes, check if each image tag has the “alt” text property. Consequently, the image description may be read aloud by the screen reader. It excludes the user from a sizable portion of the website’s offerings if this doesn’t happen.
8. Distracting graphics, blinking elements, and images
A method should allow the user to pause, stop, or conceal any moving, blinking, or scrolling information that initiates automatically. It is valid unless the activity that the moving, blinking, or scrolling is a part of requires it. However, if you must use them, ensure that brightness, flashes, and blinking are not too powerful or oppressive to cause any episodes. In general, having such aesthetics won’t look too well on a site or app. It is necessary that material not flash more than three times each second since movement and flashing can also trigger seizures to avoid distractions.
Run Quick Accessibility Tests to fix issues.
- Select the actual browser and device you wish to test on, and utilize the Screen Reader Option for testing non-visual navigation if you want to perform accessibility tests manually.
- Use a quick tool that evaluates a document against accessibility rules and standards and generates a report identifying any breaches and emphasizing the areas where guidelines have been satisfied to conduct automated accessibility testing.
How to perform effortless Accessibility testing with LambdaTest?
Using a cloud-based testing platform like LambdaTest to execute accessibility tests of websites and web applications on an online browser farm comprising more than 3000+ genuine desktop browsers and OS combinations is a practical alternative. The LambdaTest platform offers the following features:
- Web browser testing online using actual desktop browsers, hardware, and operating systems.
- Website testing locally utilizing a secure LambdaTest Tunnel
- Simple enterprise-grade security debugging.
- Testing for geolocation and localization in more than 53 countries.
- Seamless interfaces with external technologies like Microsoft Teams, Asana, Jira, Jenkins, etc.
- In order to evaluate the visual identification of websites and the accessibility of digital material, you may use NVDA (Non-Visual Desktop Access) for Windows and Mac sessions.
Said, accessibility testing demonstrates how simple it is to use, access, and comprehend software. You should include everybody’s viewpoint throughout testing. Software must be inclusive and designed to accommodate users with different needs due to unique circumstances; hence accessibility testing is essential. Integrate accessibility tests in the testing plan from the beginning, that is, the ideation process, to guarantee that no user is unable to make full use of your website or app due to inadequate testing.
Check out the accessibility testing checklist mentioned above for a more detailed look at accessibility testing and information on making certain websites and applications accessible to those with impairments.
This testing offers manual testing or automated technologies, like every other sort of testing. The sole purpose of a tester should be to follow the rules and determine how user-friendly and simple the programme is to use.