mobile app accessibility testing checklist

Sidharth Shukla | Posted on | 2 min Read

Mobile App Accessibility Testing Checklist

Introduction

 

Ensuring that your mobile app is accessible to users with disabilities is not just a critical aspect of app development, but it’s also an opportunity to create a product that is truly inclusive and empowers every user. With accessibility testing, you can make sure that your app is usable by everyone, regardless of their physical or cognitive abilities.

And by following the checklist provided, you can ensure that your app is not only accessible but also user-friendly and intuitive for all. So let’s work together to make technology more inclusive and create a positive impact on people’s lives!


What is Accessibility Testing ?

 

In today’s digital age, ensuring that software applications and websites are accessible to all users is crucial. This is where accessibility testing comes in, which is the process of evaluating an application or website’s ability to be accessed and used by people with disabilities. The ultimate goal of accessibility testing is to ensure that users with disabilities can access and interact with digital content without any barriers or difficulties.

To achieve this goal, accessibility testing involves a wide range of tests, such as keyboard navigation, screen reader compatibility, color contrast, text alternatives for images, and other features that aid people with disabilities in accessing digital content. As a result, accessibility testing has become an indispensable part of application development, as it ensures that digital content is accessible to everyone, irrespective of their abilities.


Why do we need Accessibility Testing in Mobile Apps ?


Accessibility testing is crucial for mobile applications because it ensures that the app is accessible to all users, including those with disabilities. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), over one billion people worldwide live with some form of disability, such as visual, auditory, cognitive, or motor impairments.

People with disabilities need equal access to mobile applications, which have become an essential part of our lives. Without accessibility testing, mobile apps may be inaccessible to users with disabilities, resulting in failure to inclusivity.

Accessibility testing for mobile applications includes assessing whether the app can be used by people with disabilities, such as testing keyboard navigation, screen reader compatibility, color contrast, text alternatives, voiceover support, content scaling, focus indicators, closed captioning, proper use of headings, and easy navigation.

Inaccessible mobile applications can have negative outcomes for both users and developers. Users with disabilities may encounter significant obstacles while using the app, resulting in frustration and decreased app usage. Additionally, developers could face legal repercussions if their app is not accessible since several countries have legislative mandates for websites and mobile apps to be accessible to individuals with disabilities.


Accessibility Testing Checklist

Overall, accessibility testing is essential to ensure that digital content is accessible to everyone, regardless of their inabilities. By incorporating accessibility testing into the app development process, developers can ensure that their products are inclusive and can be used by anyone. Let’s discuss some of the most crucial checklists for Accessibility Testing:


Correct Heading Usage
When conducting mobile app accessibility testing, it’s important to use proper and descriptive headings for all sections and subsections. This helps users with visual impairments to navigate through the app more easily and understand the hierarchy of the content. Testing can be done by using screen readers to ensure that the headings are available and accurate.


Easy Navigation
Easy navigation is a crucial aspect of mobile app accessibility testing. The app should be designed in a way that allows users to navigate through the app easily and quickly. You can test this by conducting various usability tests focused around accessibility.


Voiceover Support
A vital aspect of mobile app accessibility testing is voiceover support. Voiceover is a screen reader feature that allows individuals with visual impairments to navigate through the app using voice commands. You can verify this by enabling Voiceover in your device settings and navigating the app solely through voice commands.


Keyboard Navigation

In mobile app accessibility testing, keyboard navigation is a crucial component. To ensure accessibility, the app’s design should facilitate keyboard-only navigation. You can test this by using the tab key to navigate through the app’s user interface and ensuring that all elements can be accessed without the need for a mouse or touch screen.


Color Contrast
When designing a mobile app, color contrast is a crucial aspect to consider. The foreground and background colors should have enough contrast to make the app’s content legible for individuals with visual impairments. To check the color contrast of your app, you can use tools such as the Color Contrast Analyzer.


Text Alternatives for Images
Mobile app design includes images, which can be a hindrance for individuals with visual impairments. Hence, it is necessary to provide text alternatives for images to make the content accessible to everyone. To ensure accessibility, you can test by disabling the images in your app and confirming the availability and descriptiveness of the text alternatives.


Descriptive labelling of UI elements
When conducting mobile app accessibility testing, another crucial aspect to consider is accessibility labels. All user interface (UI) elements, such as buttons, links, and forms, should have descriptive labels to aid individuals with visual impairments to understand the purpose of each element. You can verify this by utilising screen readers to navigate through the app and ensure the availability and accuracy of accessibility labels or descriptions.


Adding subtitles to videos
Videos are a crucial part of mobile app design, but they can be difficult to make use of for people with hearing impairment. For this reason, it’s crucial to offer closed captioning or subtitles for videos in order to ensure that everyone can access the information. Turning on closed captioning for the videos in your app and making sure the captions are correct and in time with the video will allow you to test this.


Clear Focus Indicators
Another crucial factor to take into account when testing the accessibility of mobile apps is focus indicators. Focus indicators are visual cues that direct users to specific locations inside an app and identify the currently selected content. All UI elements in the app should have distinct and unambiguous attention indicators. Using the keyboard to navigate the app and checking that the focus indicators are visible and clear will allow you to test this.


Conclusion

By integrating accessibility testing into the mobile app development process, app developers can ensure that the app is accessible to all individuals, irrespective of their impairments. This approach can lead to higher app usage, increased customer satisfaction, nurtured inclusivity and adherence to any legal mandates related to accessibility.

Overall, accessibility testing is crucial for mobile applications to ensure that they are inclusive and can be used by anyone irrespective of their abilities or inabilities. By considering the needs of people with disabilities during the mobile app development process, developers can create products that are accessible and provide equal access to everyone.

Sidharth Shukla

Currently working as a SDET. He is an Automation enabler who provides solutions that mitigates quality risk. Passionate about technical writing and contribution towards QA community.

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