Independent Software QA Testing Services

Usability and Accessibility Testing 101

A Complete Guide to Usability and Accessibility Testing


This testing method ensures that a website or application is highly interactive, easy, and intuitive to use. Accessibility testing ( a subset of usability testing) focuses solely on making a website or application more accessible for disabled individuals. The higher degree of adaptability and user-friendliness for any software application or product in the market is verified solely by deploying this testing method.

The primary goal of this testing protocol is centered on incorporating accessibility into more common evaluation methods, including standard reviews, heuristic evaluations, designing walkthroughs, and all informal evaluations among users with disabilities.

Usability testing aims at collecting both quantitative and qualitative data from real users executing real tasks engaging in interface interactions with a software application or product. Usability testing professionals can evaluate certain arenas of accessibility by deploying standardized usability testing protocols, that are inclusive of modifications for participants with disabilities.

Ideally, a usability professional is not essential and neither is the formal usability testing protocol for including people with disabilities in the overall software evaluation. Short informal project evaluations can also aid in gathering valuable feedback from people with disabilities without the additional efforts of a formal usability testing protocol. In most cases, an usability testing evaluation involves the following:

  • Designating a selective group of people with disabilities,
  • Encouraging them to execute tasks on prototypes,
  • Observing their interactions with the prototype,
  • Discussing all encountered accessibility issues with them.

While usability testing evaluates the real life implications of all software accessibility solutions that are specifically designed for people with disabilities, However, usability testing in itself cannot address all accessibility issues and does not aid in evaluating a software’s conformity to all accessibility standards.

Evaluation for Accessibility – Guiding on incorporating accessibility into other evaluation methods, such as interaction; observation, and data collection would focus on some standardized protocols and review mechanisms. It is always deemed better to conduct other simultaneous evaluations before investing in formal usability testing with people with disabilities.

In most cases, heavy expenses on deploying formal usability testing are avoided and substituted with an alternative easier, less expensive evaluation method.

Conducting informal evaluations throughout a product development project is often found to be more effective than conducting full fledged formal usability testing at the end of every project. While covering formal usability protocols, much of the same information also applies to most informal evaluations, field KTs, and other collaborative team efforts with real life participants with disabilities.

However, some stringent formal usability testing exercises with real life participants with disabilities might deploy standardized industry protocols. However, for the most part, usability tests are designed specifically to further explore minor accessibility issues, the protocol, however, might look different from a typically generalized usability test execution; for example:

  • Deploying a think-out-loud technique within a high facilitator interaction setup;
  • Dissecting errors related to accessibility issues, rather than on a time-on-task or user satisfaction basis; and
  • Focussing on tasks centered on specific areas of concern for mapping in key potential accessibility barriers, rather than overall general site navigation or usage.
The Manual

Guide to usability testing with participants with disabilities in the following steps

  • Planning Usability Testing involves pre-determining participant characteristics while scouting for recruiting participants, choosing the best environmental location, and pre-scheduling the right time framework.
  • Preparing for Usability Testing Involves ensuring the test facility is accessible for preparing all test materials, setting up and pre-testing all participants’ configurations, building familiarity with the assistive technology, and conducting all pilot tests.
  • Conducting Usability Testing includes setting up the space, orienting and guiding the participant, completing all documentation and paperwork, completing all pending tasks, like data collection, and compensations, and looking into deploying specific considerations for people with different disabilities.
  • Reporting Usability Testing involves demarcating between all accessibility and usability issues, including functional parameters, Analyzing all categorizations and comparisons, clarifying all data conclusions, and test result documentation for people with disabilities.
  • Checklisting for Usability Testing encapsulates all the planned tasks and prior considerations involved in conducting, and reporting all usability studies with participants with disabilities.
  • The Recruiting Screener furthermore lists questions to ask while recruiting participants in the exercise.
  • Interactions with people with disabilities provide additional information related to usability testing. The “Usability Evaluation, Usability Testing” resources include data references that provide all general information on an ideal usability evaluation and the standardized protocols of usability testing.
Usability & Accessibility Testing The Thought Frameworks Way!
Software testing is the ultimate way of evaluating and verifying what a software product delivers and what it is expected to deliver by being a completely defect-free product. Software, systems, and web applications developed by businesses are generally not only intended for the use of audio visuals that caters to all normal users but also work for disabled and specially abled end users who also can be counted upon as potential customers or clients as well. As a human-driven approach powered by inclusivity for every user with or without disabilities. It is becoming highly essential for websites and applications to be compliant with W3C’s WCAG and ADA.

Usability Testing is a type of testing that is done from an end user’s point of view to indicate whether the system is easily adaptable and usable. It is the practice of testing the simplicity of a UI design when considered practically in terms of its real life use cases. A common mistake in usability testing is deploying a study too late in the designing process If you wait right until the product release, most likely you won’t have the time or money left to fix any issues later down the production pipeline having wasted a lot of additional efforts while developing your product the wrong way all throughout.

Accessibility testing is a subset of usability testing wherein the users under consideration are people with or without disabilities. It is the practice of making a website/mobile application usable to as many people as possible. This process additionally ensures that the website / mobile application is easily accessible to those with disabilities, such as vision impairment, hearing disabilities, and other physical, motor, or cognitive impairments.

Importance of Usability and Accessibility Testing Services
For any software application that is under development, factoring in accessibility ensures that the web content is reachable to all for its equitable use. To test any web application, it is mandatory to have accessibility testing methods as a part of the Software Testing Cycle (STC). When developers implement Universal Design Principles it can improve the website accessibility. This also aligns with the growing concept of human driven approach. Usability and accessibility testing provides some additional benefits, while the major benefits and purpose of usability testing are designated for identifying usability problems within a design framework as early as possible, so they can be fixed prior to implementation and such usability test exercises are often mostly conducted on prototypes rather than the final finished products, within different levels of fidelity depending on the development phase.
Our Approach

Our Accessibility Testing Service Approach

  • Customizing test plan creation.
  • Usage of evaluation tools for testing
  • Issue identification with Sortsite (automated tool)
  • Google Lighthouse
  • Screen reader test
  • ChromeVox using Chrome extension
  • Generating a combined report of evaluation tools report and visual inspection reports
  • Defect Report: JIRA ticket with specific action items to address.
  • Preparing a summary report for
  • Page metrics
  • Accessibility guidelines metrics
What happens when you don't perform Accessibility Testing?
Accessibility testing is often considered mandatory to equally meet the needs of all user demographics. It’s also mandated by law that between the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) and the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), Section 508, there are some mandatory regulatory compliances. Failure to do so could result in penalizations of up to $75,000-$150,000.

Accessibility Testing Tools deployed are

  • Screen readers
  • ChromeVox
  • Jaws
  • NVDA
  • Accessibility Testing Automation Tools
  • Wave
  • Axe
  • Google Lighthouse and Tenon Tool
  • Sortsite
What's the right time to deploy Accessibility Testing Services?
Accessibility Testing Services can be performed once the build has successfully passed the Smoke testing phase.
Our Methodology
Accessibility Testing Services the Thought Frameworks Way!
  • Avoiding Legal Complications – As it is now globally accepted that websites must meet mandatory accessibility requirements before going live. Failing to do so will have potentially detrimental legal complications.
  • Enhancing Potential Growth in the Business – As every 1 among 5 individuals is living with some sort of disability, which constitutes 19% of the global population demographics. Any application that is built by following standardized accessibility guidelines equally outreaches people with disabilities and results in the potential growth of the company’s overall revenue.
  • Accurate Search Results – When the website is developed prioritizing the accessibility model, it additionally contains rich text snippets ensuring that all search engine crawlers can easily locate such a website more frequently as all popular search engines are mostly designed to look for text while populating search results.
  • Better User Experience – Whenever digital content is optimized for accessibility, it ensures that the application is functioning as expected by the target audience. Implementing an accessible design ensures easy navigation, clarity, readability, and appearance that positively impacts the user’s journey building upon their allegiance to the developed applications.
Value additions
  • As a test team, we always suggest enhancing the end users’ experiences.
  • Our unique testing approach is deployed to cover the application end to end combining both Manual and automated tools and listing issues.
  • Deploying real-time user tests to uncover hidden scenarios and documenting the test data feedback regularly is also very important.
  • Initiating accessibility and usability testing early on in the production pipeline ensures lower costs while saving time.
  • Creating multiple reports with Page wise, Guideline wise, and screen readers.
  • With regular Brainstorming sessions are done to further understand all the features and list the missing scenarios.
Must Opt

Other Testing Services Compatible With Usability and Accessibility Testing.

Software Usability Testing, alternately referred to as User Experience(UX) Testing, is a software testing process deployed to measure how easy and user-friendly a software application is. This test is performed by a small set of targeted end-users who interact with the software applications with an aim to expose all underlying usability defects.


The Thoughframeworkers and their experience in Usability & Accessibility Testing Adding value to Usability & Accessibility Testing requirements by:

  • Expanding Development Cycles
  • Helping achieve Resilience And Ease Of Execution
  • Enhancing Product Scalability
  • Ensuring All Features Delivery On Time

About Thought Frameworks

Thought Frameworks is a U.S. based leading QA and software testing organization that’s been in business since 2009, armed with the ultimate solutions for all your software’s QA testing challenges. Having headquarters both in California, USA and a fully functional well equipped QA Test Lab in Bengaluru-India, that delivers premium QA and QC services endlessly across different Industry domains and niches. An ISTQB Silver Partnered Company, our superhuman test team has delivered numerous successful QA and QC projects for clients across the globe. Get powered by our deep dive bug hunting process that helps your software in clocking release cycles on time while delivering excelling quality and functionality.

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