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Performing comprehensive web accessibility testing for any website is no easy task. There are so many guidelines to be followed to become compliant with standards like WCAG. But at the same time, you have to at least make sure to make your website is accessible on a basic level. So we have created this basic Website Accessibility Testing Checklist with reference to the easy checks issued by W3C. Though they are not definitive methods, it’s definitely a great place to start and evolve from that point onwards.
A Basic Website Accessibility Testing Checklist
- Page Title and Content Headings
- Alt Text and Multimedia Alternatives
- Moving and Flashing Content
- Text Size and Contrast ratio
- Keyboard access
Page Title and Content Headings
Since Page Titles appear in search results, browser tabs, bookmarks, and so on, make sure to make it clear and unique. See if the main content is properly visible in all these places and use a screen reader to see if it read properly. Unclear page titles will make it very hard to navigate across different pages.
Using headings in a random order will make it hard for the user to understand the structure of your content. So in addition to confusing regular readers, it will also confuse the screen readers and cause them not to function properly.
Alt Text and Multimedia Alternatives
Alt Text and Multimedia Alternatives are key points in our Website Accessibility Testing Checklist as websites are now filled with a lot of visual content. Visually impaired users won’t be able to see any graphical content that you use on your webpage. So if you are adding an image, make sure to add appropriate alt text to the images as that will help the user understand the purpose of the image using words. Similarly, make sure to add closed captions and transcripts for videos based on the type. The media shouldn’t always start to play as soon as the page opens. Even if it does, then make sure to make it easy to pause it by adding keyboard controls for the playback.
Moving and Flashing Content
Carousel posts on websites have become a very commonly used feature. Flashing contents are instrumental in helping certain content stand out from the rest. But you have to make sure that the content doesn’t flash more than 3 times every second as it might cause seizures. Moving content and carousel content shouldn’t be too rapid that it becomes incomprehensible for your users. Similar to the media controls, the user must also be able to control the moving content to prevent the features from becoming a distraction.
Text Size and Contrast ratio
It is always a good idea to keep your text size fairly big as content with small text sizes rarely works. Even if you keep the text size big enough and fail to use proper text and background colors, the text will become hard to read. You should also test it from the perspective of a person with color blindness to see there are no contrast issues. There is even a tool called the Color Contrast Analyzer that you could use to check if the contrast ratio will pass the required standards. Few people will be able to read the content only when the text is enlarged beyond the regular size. So make sure there is enough spacing in places you add the text and not cram in too much content. Keep it simple, yet catchy.
We have added this factor to our Website Accessibility Testing Checklist as it is one of the most overlooked aspects. Not everybody will be able to navigate through your website using a mouse. So make sure it is possible to navigate to the different elements like drop-down lists, text fields, menus, and so on. The labels used for text boxes should convey the requirement and be on the left side of the box for left-to-right languages. Make sure to highlight mandatory fields with the asterisks (*) sign and not just color to differentiate it.
Why is Accessibility Testing Mandatory?
So this is a basic Website Accessibility Testing Checklist that you can concentrate on, to begin with. But they are in no way sufficient to get a proper standardization as your website might pass all these checks and still have major accessibility issues. If your website isn’t accessible, there are possibilities of getting sued based on the part of the world you are in. Why go through all the hassle and be at risk when you can simply outsource the web accessibility testing to one of the best web accessibility testing service providers like us? Making your product accessible is no longer a choice you can ignore as it is an important part of making your product available to a wider audience and enhancing the product’s overall usability.