Posted in accessibility testing, mobile testing

Accessibility testing is your social responsibility #AccessibilityTestingDoIT

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New school year in Poland has began, so for me it is time for new professional goals even more than January 1st.

It is almost a year of me writing this blog and if you are a frequent visitor, you may have noticed, that aspects of testing, coaching, agile and conference stuff are mixed up here. It is basically because I do believe that all of these are equally important parts of tester’s professional life. We can never say that agile or mentoring is not our job. It is. Not obligatory for everyone, sure, but still valid.

On the other hand, as I wrote a while ago, I think that working in the fantastic software industry is a opportunity. At first, it is a chance for us to gain knowledge, feel the modern software vibe, know what’s on and simply to make money from exciting activities. Secondly, it is a chance for the others and ‘for the world’ (sounds like Miss Universe, doesn’t it? 🙂 ) to let us make it a better place. I think that testers, developers, graphic designers, UX specialists  can still make a change, not only by creating stunning websites or mobile applications, but also by making the accessible to all users, especially to people with any kind of disabilities.

I’m going to make a series of articles focusing on certain impairments, to give you a chance for having a closer look to the problem and possible improvement solutions. I know that each of you work in different software industry branch, so all together we are quite powerful.

For a tester – it will be a matter of one – two additional test cases or test suite in our daily basis activities – for developers – it will be a better code maybe, for graphic designers an UX specialists – it will be yet another tool to make developers following THE RIGHT path 🙂

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Action points:

Let’s start from scratch:

  1. What is an accessibility testing you can read here in one of my previous post.

          2. Where to look for mobile development tips:

3. Is it software – related subject only?

NO

It is both hardware and software.

4. What kind of impairments would I like to cover?

  • visual
  • physical
  • hearing

I’ll try to create a separated section at the top of this website – so you’ll be able to access content at any time in order to practice your accessibility testing skills.

         5. At the same time – if you have any cool websites, services, books, articles…….. AND SO ON to share with me or with the entire community – don’t hesitate to paste it in the comment, on Facebook.

  6. Tweet any accessibility testing – related stuff using hashtag #AccessibilityTestingDoIT

Cheers!

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Posted in kiss, mobile testing

UI goes first. Mobile Testing.

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You’ve probably heard about usability testing. It’s one of non-functional testing ranges.
A quick reminder about non-functional test types below. Usability is the one that we will be focusing on now.

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Why testing mobile apps, when Usability comes first is so important?

Because form UX point of view application should be:

  • attractive
  • functional
  • useful
  • fun

Application should make the user happy – not frustrate him. How is it possible to be done? By providing great, clean UI. No matter if we are talking about iOS or Android applications – rules are similar. Keep It Siple Stupid.

What is more, you’ll have to keep two facts in mind:

  • Mobile customers are intolerant and fickle. (You know you are). If your app isn’t a knockout on first impression, it’s probably going to be deleted or will be forgotten on their smartphones.
  • 50% of the users expect, that an app is ready for use under 2 seconds

Silicon Valley analyst Andrew Chen attests that the average app loses 77 percent of its users in the three days after they install it. After a month, 90 percent of users eventually stop using the app. In addition, research by Mobilewalla revealed that users eventually delete 90 percent of all downloaded apps. Make one wrong move that angers or frustrates users – and chances are your app will be deleted.

We could say that testing mobile app is one of the most stressful jobs on the planet – if you don’t succeed – the app doesn’t as well.

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Even if the UX design is correct during your testing remember about following check list:

  • get familiar with you users (by research, Google Analytics, Twitter etc.)
  • mind screen size (device fragmentation)
  • check on proper OS versions
  • select correct device types and brands (brand fragmentation)

Remember, that in mobile testing, more than anywhere else – tester is in charge – not only by keeping the initial design in shape through all development and testing process, but also by protecting user’s needs.

Posted in accessibility testing

Accessibility testing

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Web accessibility testing is a subset of usability testing where the users under consideration have disabilities that affect how they use the web. Wikipedia might tell you more about it.

But why is it so important?

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Can you imagine that? There is 1 billion people with disabilities, who might be the users of your application – either web or mobile. Basically, it depends on your testing, if they would feel comfortable with that or not.

What does disability stand for?

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Disability is an impairment that may be cognitive, developmental, intellectual, mental, physical, sensory, or some combination of these, and that substantially affects a person’s life activities.

In creating apps that satisfy the needs of all users – we should mainly focus on:

UI features:

 

  • color selection
  • icons size
  • display customization
  • ease of use and installation (if needed)

 

Backed features:

  • volume (regulation, presence)
  • adjusting to VoiceOver (iOS) and TalkBack (Android)
  • correct structure
  • guided access
  • speech adjustments
  • captioning
  • audio description

You could obviously wonder if people with disabilities use ‘normal’ apps? Aren’t there special apps or website for them? The answer is – yes – in both cases. They use “normal’ apps, as they need them just like any other person and there is a tiny range of apps dedicated for people with disabilities.

You may also wonder how – for example blind person – would be able to use my mobile app. The answer differs in the way that people and disabilities differ, but it doesn’t mean that we are not supposed to think about it while developing or testing.

Google said:

Everyone should be able to access and enjoy the web. We’re committed to making that a reality

I would completely agree with that. What is more, I personally believe that in societies, where technology is present in everyone’s life and life length extends – this is our duty to create software that is beyond ‘standard’ rules.

As Google tells you about the approach to accessibility – Android and iOS do so. If you don’t know how to start – just follow their advice.

Your accessibility testing should have the following, high level goals:

  • Set up and use the application without sighted assistance
  • All task workflows in the application can be easily navigated using directional controls and provide clear and appropriate feedback

Treat such testing as an act of kindness for all the people, who will use your app in the future.

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The following tests must be completed in order to ensure a minimum level of application accessibility.

  1. Directional controls: Verify that the application can be operated without the use of a touch screen. Attempt to use only directional controls to accomplish the primary tasks in the application.
  2. TalkBack /VoiceOver audio prompts: Verify that user interface controls that provide information (graphics or text) or allow user action have clear and accurate audio descriptions when TalkBack /VoiceOver is enabled and controls are focused. Use directional controls to move focus between application layout elements.
  3. Explore by Touch prompts: Verify that user interface controls that provide information (graphics or text) or allow user action have appropriate audio descriptions. There should be no regions where contents or controls do not provide an audio description.
  4. Touchable control sizes: All controls where a user can select or take an action must be a minimum of 48 dp (approximately 9mm) in length and width, as recommended by Android Design.
  5. Gestures work with TalkBack/VoiceOver enabled: Verify that app-specific gestures, such as zooming images, scrolling lists, swiping between pages or navigating carousel controls continue to work when TalkBack/VoiceOver is enabled. If these gestures do not function, then an alternative interface for these actions must be provided.
  6. No audio-only feedback: Audio feedback must always have a secondary feedback mechanism to support users who are deaf or hard of hearing.

A friend of mine, who is a blind person but uses smartphone or web on daily basis, said one day that iPhone is waaaay better for her than Android devices. But the question is – if that depends on OS itself and their talking software or on poor Android apps that don’t fully support TalkBack and – to be honest -are annoying even for people whose vision is completely OK. I’m leaving you with this question.

In case of any comments – stalk me on Twitter.