Everyone experiences disability at some point in their life, whether permanent (blindness, deafness, motor impairment) or temporary (fatigue, migraines, a broken arm). These things may make the things we build difficult to use.
Below, you'll find recommended tools and processes that will help make it easier for folk to use the things we build without frustration.
The web is for everyone, and it is our job to make sure that everyone can access it.
There are a lot of options, both free and paid for, to automatically test the accessibility of our products. From the most basic like tota11y and a11y , to the more involved like Chrome’s Accessibility Audit tool and aXe. These tools can provide a great overview of where we might be going wrong, and even suggest ways to improve.
But with great power, comes great responsibility. We cannot rely on automated tool to help us find and fix all the issues. GDS discovered that even a tool like Chrome's Accessibility auditor only surface 17% of accessibility issues.
Just because a tool says something is broken, we should still manually test to prove it is. These automated tools provide solutions, but they are neither the only or the most suitable solution for our users.
Nothing really beats manual testing. The more you do this, the easier you’ll find it to spot potential accessibility errors.
Note that you shouldn’t sink time into becoming an expert with a screen reader. Unless you use a screen reader every day and have a legitimate need to do so, you are unlikely to ever use a screen reader how they should be used.
It's important to note here that you cannot truly say your product is accessible until you've tested them with folk who benefit from this work.
Check out our tips on usability testing, too.
Copyright uSwitch Limited 2016 - 2017. Github