This website is not accessible.

ISTQB Advanced Test Manager (1)

Theory – you can scroll down if you know it 🙂

Accessibility of mobile and web applications means to enable all internet users, especially the impaired people, to feel, understand, navigate and capable the full usage of the applications. The ability of accessibility testing is extremely important for all web content creators and enables to raise the bar height and enlarge the range of users.

The impairment, so to speak, may be connected with hearing, visual, mental or physical limitations. On the other hand, being an impaired person doesn’t have to mean cyber exclusion. How the modern internet looks like depends on developers’ and testers’ willingness to deal with modern quality requirements.

It may seem that impaired people make just a tiny piece of mobile and web application users – on the contrary – stand the results of research made by Google Inc. since 2005, which prove that there are over one billion impaired users in the world, who use the applications on daily basis. The number may impress, but also shows the scale of the new market, that demands better software quality.

Developers and testers in each mobile or web project should always estimate how much and what kind of accessibility testing is required and how to measure the accessibility testing coverage. Better accessibility means a higher quality level and better user experience, which all brands would like to be associated with.

What does it mean to adopt a website’s content to meet certain needs? At first, developers should focus on good HTML code quality, compatible with helpers – devices and applications – on PCs and smartphones. For example, lack of unique ids stands for a severe bug, that might be discovered with the help of accessibility testing.

Basic principles

Here is the set of basic principles of creating applications that meet the accessibility requirements.

When creating applications that meet the unique needs of users, special attention should be paid to the implementation of user interface elements, such as:

-colors

People affected by visual impairment, that prevent the correct perception of colors, may be excluded from the audience of applications if they can not properly distinguish individual elements. This can be verified by using specific screen filters (eg from http://colororacle.org/ – compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux), that mimic certain dysfunctions.

– icons

Their size and simplicity are particularly important to people with motoric impairment or with cognitive difficulties.

– the ability to change the resolution of the displayed elements

– ease of use and installation of the application

and backend elements:

– volume control

– adaptation to speech assistants, e.g. VoiceOver (iOS) or TalkBack (Android)

– appropriate structure of the application HTML code

so as to enable communication between our application and speech assistant software for the blind.

– the ability to use audio descriptions.

Practically, accessibility testing means to meet all of the above and increase the number of usability tests. However, the case is not to fulfill subjective aesthetic feelings in relation to a given application, but to conduct certain test suites, designed for particular user groups. The spectrum of the tester’s capabilities is basically unlimited – creativity is the key. It is also necessary to imagine yourself as a person with a specific need, and consequently to select a set of tests aimed at in-depth testing of a narrow area of ​​applications, e.g. selected elements of the graphical interface. It should also be noted that while in the core layer and the relevant quality requirements are simple – the code itself has to be thought out, readable and adapted to work with various types of helpers. Developing a test suite requires a lot of ingenuity and empathy from the tester.

A properly working application available for people with disabilities should always ensure:

– easy installation,

– navigating without the help of sight,

– the ability to use the application with simple gestures,

– clear feedback to the user.

Creating mobile applications and websites that will work with helpers – that support people with disabilities – is not only a correct implementation of basic functionalities but also the ability to replace or enrich specific actions in the application with others. For example – by adding vibrations each time you touch an active element, enlarge the font or highlight parts of the image for the visually impaired people. Testing of such applications should check whether:

– it is possible to navigate without using a touchscreen,

– audio description is available for every visible element,

– there are application areas devoid of audio descriptions,

– all elements to which you can click have at least 48 dp (9 mm) in length and width,

– all voice elements have an additional mechanism to support users with hearing impairments.

Both – developers of speech assistants and application developers – eventually experience the same challenge. Working on sufficient such solutions is to keep the consistency and availability of applications without losing the features of a modern product. Each new design should be supported by both parties.

@KingaTest

You had one job.

Do you remember a friend of mine – about whom I was talking during UK Star? She cannot see. On the other hand, she would like to stay active and simply work.
She takes various jobs, when she has such opportunity and usually she actively looks for it.

Let’s focus on this particular case.

Last week this friend of mine called us saying, that she has found a new job opportunity, but the website she is supposed to enter is not fully accessible for her. She was simply asking for help. What is more, she was confused, because the job description was quite clear.

There is an application which gathers various voice recordings. The purpose of the job is supposed to be transferring those recordings into written words. Transfer them into text.
My friend uses a computer and keyboard on daily basis, so it seemed to be suitable work for her.

The problem was, that for some reason, her voice assistant (Ivona) was not able to access all website elements, so she was not able to go through the application, not mentioning to complete her job, that’s why she asked for help.

So we opened the website…

It turned out that the voice assistant has not been mistaken.

PREPARE YOUR EYES

przepisywanie.pl
https://i1.kwejk.pl/k/obrazki/2012/08/21cfb1e6462b09e827d00c25d18cf97f.png

How does it work?

Assuming you have a (Polish) recording that you wish to transcript. You shall go to this website, register yourself, upload the file and the magic happens. When I write magic – I mean a person – as a friend of mine – does the transcript for you.

I shall quote my beloved developer: “This website has been implemented before the Internet era begun or by someone who has never seen the Internet before”.

The main page is even not the worst. It’s getting muuuuuuuuuuuuuuch worse when you log in. In order to perform the translation, you need to use specific keyboard shortcuts, and they are spread all over the keyboard without reasonable order. You can customise the shortcuts later, but at first, when you cannot see, you and your voice assistant have to deal with the existing ones and this task is not easy.

This website doesn’t have responsive web design.

This website doesn’t have accessible HTML code.

This website makes voice assistants completely lost.

I don’t want to say, that companies are forbidden from making ugly websites.
Do whatever you want, BUT when you employ impaired people, just try not to insult them.
Thank you.

https://pics.me.me/turn-zef-you-had-one-job-25481906.png

Summary

This time I’ll leave the judgment and comments for you, guys. Just check the website by yourself if you wish.
przepisywanie.pl
I’m speechless.

If you have any cool job offers for people, who cannot see, I have some friends to recommend!

Cheers.

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Development in rapid-delivery era.

This post will consist of some thoughts that bother me for some time now. It won’t be about testing only, but about the whole modern process of software delivery. Reading shall take some time, so grab some sandwiches, coffee and come along with my story 🙂

Development in rapid - delivery era

We produce more and more software

Several years ago, it started to be visible that we live faster. We eat in a hurry, don’t care about cooking or running out of global resources. We became dedicated to meaningless things, such as smartphones, watches and gadgets to impress our society.

On the other hand, at some point, people noticed that the quality and durability of equipment they have at their homes: cars, washing machines, mobile phones etc. is lower than in used to be. It became more efficient to buy a new thing than to repair the old one. We started to produce lot of waste, polluting the environment and thinking that we have another Earth to move to. It took some time to notice, that, in fact, we don’t have a spare one. Simple, but surprising thought, made us be more eco-minded and aware of human’s impact on the planet.

Slow lifestyle, vegan food, bikes instead of cars, repairing old furniture, producing new items in more environmental friendly way – it is all happening now, and we keep on changing our lifestyles in order to save the planet for the future generations.

What has software industry to do with it?

The more devices we produce – the more software it requires. Modern fridges, microwaves or even toys tend to be equipped with some sort of software, can have WI-FI connection or are prone to be hacked. It means, that IT industry is no longer separated branch on the marked, or there that there is a bunch of guys somewhere, who produce software for your computer. Internet of Things enabled us to have software almost everywhere, furthermore, someone must write and test it.

Here is the point of my first doubt – if some device consists of some sort of software – does it mean that is has to be tested by somebody?

We test, but we don’t fix

My career as a software tester is not very long now, but since now, I had an opportunity to work is several projects related to various parts of the global market. As you probably know already, I also like to talk to people and exchange ideas and gain some other peoples’ experience regarding their projects. In addition, I am also an internet addict,
I do admit that – I shop online, read blogs and watch movies on the internet.

In a contrary, as a software tester, I am also quite picky user and when something on the website pisses me off – I don’t use the service anymore, unless I have no other choice.

What I would like to emphasise here is the matter of choice, in fact.

In my short software tester’s career (too many times!) I came across with the approach that when we know about the bug – our job is done. It takes too much effort (MONEY) to fix it, so we collect non-critical ones in our backlog and struggle to have them fix for end users. Does it sound familiar to you, Dear Reader?

It made me cry so many times observing my projects sinking in the sea of spaghetti code and UI issues.  Unfortunately, it was often way too visible, that I had been the only person, who bothered.

And here we are – software testers – doing the best we can to expose flaws of our products,  to protect our users, being angry and powerless at the same time. Product managers, product owners don’t listen to us, they just sell and expand the products worldwide.

Is it bad? It seems to be short-term profitable, but sadly, we may end up with piles of hideous software as we end up with polluted air, rivers and garbage in Indian Ocean.

When talking about the choice – there are branches on the market – which benefit from not having a competition. In Poland, where I live, this would be a public sector’s case – schools, national insurance, security. There is usually a tender in order to choose
a supplier of a software for certain public organisation, but in most of the cases the cheapest offer wins.
How do people manage to obtain the cheapest offer? They don’t include quality in their estimations. Simple.
Who will be the most impacted by the poor quality of the software here? Us. Hopefully, the person who made all bad decisions as well. An employee, who uses this software on daily basis has NO CHOICE. He is forced to use CRAPPY software, because it’s a part of his job. He must struggle, because somebody a few months back – was thinking just about his own profit. This is just against work ethics – but it happens in most of the cases.

We sell more than we have coded

Quality – not quantity – this is the sentence we teach newcomers in testing industry.
However, sometimes I think, that there is literally nobody, who cares about software quality. What’s the point of testing, if we don’t fix our mistakes?
During my last speech at SeeTest I said, “as a result of selling non-existing software” and, frankly, there or wherever I said that – the audience shared same feelings and knew exactly what I was talking about.

Are we in software delivery era, in which quality doesn’t matter anymore?

Out ‘businesses’ sell features, which are in their minds only, claiming it’s already existed and after that push us to write code faster, without impediments. What I mean by distractions – bug fixes for instance. I was in such projects, I know how that feels and how hopeless people are in such crazy circumstances.

We deliver faulty software in enormous pace

What do we have in return?
Faulty websites, online stores which display 503 or 404 on daily basis, dramatic UI, crashing mobile applications or just literally – non-usable software.

I don’t mind fast pace of work – it is stimulating and efficient, but I miss the care about end user. We produce fast-food software rather that slowly cooked pieces which would make us proud. I don’t think that a software tester is glad when his team receives bugs or complaints from production, but how could he help in the first place?

I am angry, because during my online shopping it happens more often that I receive errors, UI issues, drop-downs without items or my mobile applications just crash. When
I want to be kind and nice – I report those issues – but usually nobody responses and the issues  still exist.

We keep on racing each other – neglecting quality. ‘Fast’ is the new black.

Sadly, I don’t think that even persistent testers are able to fight with the approach. Maybe, there has to come a moment, as it was with coal usage or waste in the oceans,  when it will be obvious for us to stop and think.
I hope, there will be this moment, once more, in software industry, when ‘business’ would start to think not only about their fast profit but also about the end user.

Sorry for melancholy today, it just bothers me.

What do you think?
Feel free to comment down below, on Twitter or Facebook. Cheers.