The creation of an accessible user experience is essential 🤷♂️.
Accessibility testing should be part of your user experience design and research process in order to ensure that everyone can use the product or service with ease.
But how to find out that the design is accessible? What does accessibility testing actually look like? How do you prepare for tests, and where do you find users? What tools should you use, and how can you evaluate results effectively? 🤔
1️⃣ First of all, let’s talk about preparation: before running any tests, make sure that there is a clear goal set out for the project as well as specific criteria on which success will be measured against. This could include factors such as usability or user satisfaction levels from different groups of people with disabilities, whatever works best for your particular project.
2️⃣ Once this has been established, it’s time to start thinking about who will take part in the tests – ideally, they should come from diverse backgrounds, so they represent a wide range of abilities (and don’t forget non-disabled people too). Additionally, ensure there are enough participants involved – typically 10-15 individuals per group is recommended – and consider offering incentives if possible (such as money or gift cards).
3️⃣ Finally, decide on what type of accessibility tooling would work best. Some popular options include automated scanning tools like WAVE & Tenon IO, manual checking methods via Google Chrome Developer Tools/Firefox Accessibility Inspector, and more specialized software programs depending on needs, such as screen readers/voice recognition systems, etc… All these steps help ensure everything runs smoothly during testing.
Additionally, you may try some AI-based tools for UX Research to address accessibility questions.
4️⃣ Once ready, it’s time to move onto actually conducting the test itself:
- Firstly, setup up scenarios based on tasks relevant to each individual participant – remember, not everyone has the same level of ability, so tailor them accordingly.
- Also, have observers present throughout sessions making notes & taking screenshots at key points; this helps capture valuable feedback quickly without interrupting flow too much (which could affect overall accuracy).
- Afterward, review results carefully, looking out especially areas where improvements need to be made before moving forward into the production phase.
- And lastly, don’t forget to document findings properly, for instance, through reports/presentations. Having written records makes tracking progress over a long-term basis easier while also helping communicate successes to stakeholders alike.
Do not forget about the need for proper design management and leadership in the team. Specialists should do team building and project organization upfront to guarantee the correct and helpful application of the research and testing methods.
Accessibility Testing doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Even though it may seem complicated initially– just follow the steps outlined above and get started right away.