Testim is releasing Accessibility Page and Accessibility Step validations as generally available for Professional plan customers.
What is web accessibility?
Not all users have the same vision, hearing, or physical abilities. Web UX and frontend developers should consider how their applications affect persons with disabilities and improve the design to increase access and usability.
Organizations with a presence in the United States or the European Union are subject to accessibility compliance. US courts have ruled that though the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) does not explicitly refer to web accessibility, organizations should make their websites accessible.
Fortunately, the W3C developed accessibility standards called the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), detailing specific rules and severities of violations.
What is web accessibility testing?
Web accessibility testing is a subset of usability testing that focuses on understanding the usability of a web page or application from the perspective of persons with disabilities. For example, it includes testing for descriptions of pictures or contrast between text and background to make pages or elements more readable for the visually impaired.
Software teams can test accessibility by employing specific tools that simulate a user’s experience. The W3C’s Website Accessibility Conformance Evaluation Methodology (WCAG-EM) is an approach for determining conformance.
Why is it important
First of all, making your web application more readable for people with disabilities is the right thing to do. As a parent of a legally blind child and the son of parents with macular degeneration, I can tell you firsthand that these things matter. You might find yourself in a similar situation and will appreciate organizations that take this seriously.
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It’s also required. Though not heavily enforced, there were over 1000 lawsuits filed in the first six months of 2018 related to web accessibility. In 2019, the US Supreme Court left a lower district court ruling that said Dominos pizza must have an accessible website.
It could also cost your organization money. Websites that do not meet the WCAG 2.1 standards can face fines of $50,000 for a first violation and $100,000 for subsequent offenses.
Learn more in this video with Erin Hess, an accessibility champion and Testim user.
Testim’s accessibility page and step validations
Testim released two accessibility features to help assess compliance with web accessibility standards. The accessibility page validation performs a complete check of the entire page and reports on violations. The accessibility step validation focuses the review on a particular element.
The violations can be viewed in the properties panel for the step and downloaded to CSV for additional analysis. And like other bugs, you can pop them into a ticket with your favorite bug tracker so that engineering can prioritize them.
Watch a quick video from one of our Testim product managers on the feature.