Getting Started with Mobile Accessibility Testing with Ady Stokes

Our first talk for TestBash Manchester week was with @adystokes talking all about mobile accessibility testing.

We’ll use this thread to ask questions, share resources and follow up stories of how using Ady’s approach has helped you in the future :grin:

Don’t forget to like questions that you want to see answered :wink: it will help the MC pick out the most popular ones to ask Ady live.

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How do you promote a culture of accessibility across the whole company?

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In the accessibility quadrants, do the axes mean anything?

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So much of your talk are things I can empathise with or I’ve had first-hand experience of. How can you get people who make decisions to empathise with your users and so approve features to be more inclusive?

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Do you have a preference of iOS or Android when it comes to accessibility features?

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Views on black-on-white versus black-on-yellow ?? I was told years and years ago that black on yellow was even more readable, hence rear car number plates in the UK…

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I’ve raised issues/bugs before when a user is forced into using the mouse instead of being able to tab or use keyboard arrows to navigate to every field in a form.

Would you consider this an accessibility issue?

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How do you keep aware of changes in any hardware that users may have to help them with accessibility (I don’t know if you get ‘add-on tech’ with a mobile/cell phone)?

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Do you have any recommendations for mobile accessibilty testing when remote working? We don’t have access to mobile phones for testing when we’re outside the office?

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Do you have any advice for testing for cognitive issues such as anxiety (ie colours that might have an impact)?

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What formal training would you recommend to teams wanting to gen up on accessbility?

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Thank you so much for attending Ady’s talk and participating in his Q&A via The Club!

Ady asked me to share his slides with you all, so here you go:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/14HOyLjklfAqYKIskkASM4n2QlXU6dBXL/view

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Have you found simulators to be worthwhile for accessibility testing or would always recommend using real devices?

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Hi Chris, as I said during the talk it depends on what the culture is at the company and what aspect of not doing or considering accessibility will have the most motivation for them. There are three main types of arguements to think about.
Moral - this shouldn’t be a discussion, it is our moral duty to make things accessible.
Financial - If 15% of users cannot access our product / services it will impact the bottom line.
Legal - It is illegal to make inaccessible software and you can be fined. I’ve also heard this referred to as LDD or lawsuit driven development :grin:
There is a fourth where you could focus on reputation and point to the publicity things like the Dominos website and app got when they wouldn’t fix theirs and spend millions in court when the fix was under $40,000.

I also mentioned I’d post a link to my talk on arguments and assumptions. The arguments part is from 16 minutes onwards. This is also one of the reasons I swapped from a 5% grey background to white text on black. High contrast for the win!

Hi Brian, they don’t represent anything other than the formatting aligns with my Periodic Table of Testing. I’m always happy to take feedback or thoughts if someone sees an improvement opportunity.

Hi Heather and thank you for a great session. I cover a lot of this in my response to Chris but if empathy is the goal i’d suggest saying that anyone of us can join this demographic at any point and probably will to some degree as we age. The other option is thinking about situational accessibility issues. The Microsoft Design Toolkit does a nice job of showing permanent, temporary and situation accessibility. Image from page 42 and link to download it below.

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No preference Heather but they each have their own good and less good bits. This article has information on iOS 14 features and under the Even more section about half way down is the part on accessibility. As well as ‘allegedly’ improved Voice Over there’s a ‘back tap’ where you tap the back of the phone to do things. Am looking forward(ish) to seeing what that is like. I’m already confused enough with two and three finger gestures on the front!

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Hi Fiona, and welcome to the community. While I don’t have any real views on particular colours I do know that certain things are more friendly to the majority of people. I think higher contrast on mobile is useful in more contexts than sat in an office. Your question did make me think of the article below as it has some great suggestions for ‘calm’ design. @chris_dabnor asked a question which was related so might be interested in this.

That is very much an accessibility issue as it means the site is not meeting the WCAG (web content accessibility guidelines) criteria. If something is not keyboard accessible it means for those using assistive technologies to interact such as braille keyboards, blow tubes, switches etc. will not be able to use it. If you have found this I’d strongly recommend getting a VPAT (voluntary product accessibility template) report. These give you a good overall idea of where your product or service stands in terms of accessibility. This is something you can have a go at filling in but to get really good feedback a specialist source is the best as they almost always get full time screen reader / keyboard users who know accessibility inside out. Actual experts if you will.

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I think awareness of types over keeping up is probably more useful if you are starting your accessibility journey. If something isn’t keyboard accessible then it is going to block assistive technologies as they are, at the fundamental level, just a different kind of keyboard. The inputs are the same. This is worth investigating if you’re interested as it is a fascinating subject about human adaptation. The link below has a short video explaining how switch access works. Switch being an externally connected device to control the phone.

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