Join Morten Rand-Hendriksen for an in-depth discussion in this video Accessibility testing, part of Mapping the Modern Web Design Process.
- The first round of tests for your new site should be accessibility testing. As I've explained previously, accessibility is usually an afterthought where web design is concerned, but in our process we are putting it front and center because accessibility matters. Accessibility testing is part technical, meaning you and your team can do some of it in your own office without having to bring in end-users. Here I'm talking about baseline testing for web standards and accessibility compliance, keyword navigation, image and media tags and content hierarchies.
To test the code on your site run it through an accessibility validator like achecker.ca. This tool will provide a detailed breakdown of how your markup and contents stack up to accessibility guidelines. It is also a good idea to run it through an HMTL validation check at the same time to clean up any errors lurking in your code. Next, visit the front page of your site and turn off your mouse. You should be able to navigate to any section of the site using only your keyboard without difficulty.
Ideally, you want to test it by people with visual impairments, motor problems and cognitive disabilities at a minimum. There are many accessibility groups online that offer this as a service and they are well worth the investment. Trust me. Observing a user with motor problems using grid view to click a button on a site once will change the way you think about accessibility forever. I cannot stress this enough. Make every effort to make your site accessible for everyone.
It'll be well worth the effort and the site will be ready for future interaction patterns.
- Understanding what your users care about
- Creating user personas
- Creating content priority hierarchies
- Testing wireframes and interaction patterns
- Establishing a three-track build process
- Incorporating accessibility principles
- Using content blocks
- Testing and revising your web design
- Optimizing for social media and SEO
- Launching your web design
- Getting feedback from users