Comprehensive Guide to Mobile Accessibility Testing: Everything You Need to Know  

Mobile app accessibility testing

More than 7.1 billion people worldwide use mobile phones, which is rapidly increasing. Even the largest search engine, Google, has acknowledged the significance of these figures. Therefore, Google prefers mobile-first indexing, meaning your app or content must be suitable for the mobile platform before appearing in the search results. Mobile optimization helps boost your internet traffic by providing a consistent user experience. However, most companies still ignore accessibility testing. 

According to the Baymard Institute, most e-commerce players are not accessibility compliant. Apart from legal compliance, there are numerous tests for universal usability. It improves the user experience to ensure your program is usable by everyone, including individuals with disabilities. It also increases the application’s visibility by including 15% of disabled people around the globe. Therefore, mobile universal usability testing finds and fixes obstacles that keep users from interacting with your apps to their full potential. Everything you need to know about mobile universal usability testing will be covered, from the fundamentals to sophisticated methods. So, let’s dive in and ensure your digital products are inclusive and compliant. 

Mobile Accessibility: What Does It Mean? 

Mobile app accessibility ensures that even people with disabilities can use mobile applications and software. It includes people who rely on software to read web pages due to vision impairments or reading disabilities. It also encompasses individuals who use captions to watch videos because of hearing impairments. Globally, over 1 billion people have disabilities, making it crucial to develop accessible mobile applications for smartphones, tablets, and wearables. 

Accessible mobile apps and websites allow everyone to use them without barriers. However, mobile technology is often not designed with best practices for accessibility. Why? Because testing automation companies never taught their developers the importance of accessibility during their training. This oversight impacts people with disabilities who want to use online banking, shop online, read news, and communicate with friends and family. However, it has been observed that accessible applications significantly enhance user engagement. For example, just adding captions to some video on a famous OTT platform boosts their engagement by 500%.  


Why Universal Usability Testing Is Important For Product Owners 

Today, we consume most media through our phones, whether through social media, OTT platforms, or YouTube. In January 2024, global mobile traffic shares, excluding tablets, were around 60 %. It signifies the importance of universal usability automation testing for any product owner. But if you still need to, look closely at the other factors discussed below.  

Enhance User Experience 

One significant advantage of usability testing for product owners is that it assures them that their product is user-friendly. They can always identify significant issues by observing the real users interacting with their products. Addressing these issues early in development ensures a fast development cycle and helps companies save their budgets. This way, product owners can create products that satisfy user intent while providing a smooth user experience. 

Cost And Time Saving 

As said earlier, Mobile accessibility testing helps product owners save time, effort, and money for any organization. Organizations can identify and address usability issues through regress testing in the early development stage, addressing these issues before they impact their user experience.       

Informed Decision Making 

Usability tests provide product owners with a natural user experience and data. These data and insights are crucial in formulating product-related strategies. Further, this data-driven approach plays a vital role in the overall success of their product, as it helps businesses efficiently allocate their resources. Thus, through usability testing, companies can focus on features of prime importance for their users. It also allows automation testing companies to evaluate product concepts before full-scale development. 

Market Reach And Competitiveness 

Ignoring accessibility puts mobile app developers at risk of alienating many potential users. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), around one-fourth of the global population is disabled. By making mobile apps accessible, developers may reach a wider audience and capitalize on this substantial user base. Furthermore, those who respect inclusive design and favor applications that meet a range of needs may be drawn to accessible apps. 

Brand Reputation And Social Responsibility

Developing accessible mobile apps shows a dedication to diversity and social responsibility. Communities, advocacy groups, and users all have positive opinions of companies prioritizing accessibility. Such initiatives can enhance the brand reputation of the test automation company and promote customer loyalty. 

How To Master The Universal Usability Testing For Maximum Impact? 

Are you confident your product is truly inclusive for all users, including persons with disabilities? Remember, usability testing is not just about regularity requirements; it’s more about your commitment to society. Therefore, by incorporating the following best practices into your usability testing approach, you can enhance digital products’ quality and ensure they become more accessible. 

Cover a Range of Disabilities 

To validate the accessibility features across a broad spectrum, including people with various disabilities, such as motor, cognitive, auditory, and visual impairments. Several testing tools are available to make this kind of testing more accessible.   

Test Various Assistive Technologies

Utilize a range of assistive technology to mimic the experiences of people with impairments, including screen readers, speech recognition software, and tools for magnification. 

Assess Realistic User Conditions 

Conduct tests in various scenarios, such as low bandwidth, fluctuating lighting, or noisy surroundings, to assess the product’s usability and real-world performance. 

Comprehensive Test Plans 

Create detailed test plans that address specific accessibility guidelines, standards, and project-relevant success criteria to ensure a complete and organized evaluation. 

Early and Frequent Testing 

Conduct mobile accessibility testing in the software development life cycle (SDLC) as early as possible. Continue iterative tests throughout the project to catch issues early and reduce the remediation cost. 

Engage Accessibility Experts 

Engage accessibility specialists to guide the testing process, provide insights, and guarantee that the product meets applicable accessibility standards and best practices. 

Essential 5-Step Checklist For Achieving Digital Inclusivity 

Have you ever heard of Section 508? This law ensures that people with impairments have equal access to information. It means that websites, documents, and other electronic content must also be designed to accommodate people with disabilities. Adhering to this comprehensive checklist will ensure the effectiveness of your accessibility testing. 

Design for Accessibility 

Start Early: Include accessibility right from the start when designing a project. 

High-Contrast Colors and Clear Fonts: Use high-contrast colors and clear fonts to improve readability, especially for visually impaired users. 

Avoid Confusing Images and Icons: Ensure images and icons are straightforward to understand. 

Example: When designing a mobile app for a restaurant, use black text on a white background to enhance readability. 

Use Descriptive Text 

Label Elements Clearly: Add descriptive text to buttons and images to help screen readers convey information to visually impaired users. 

Provide Context: An experienced test automation company uses detailed labels, such as “Login to your account” instead of “Login,” to give users better context. 

Include Alternate Text for Images 

Descriptive Alt Text: Make sure every image has a caption so screen readers can describe that visually challenged user. 

Implementation: Add alternate text through your app development platform’s image properties or settings menu. 

Example: To alt text an image of a blue T-shirt, use “Product image—blue T-shirt.” 

Test with Assistive Technologies 

Use Assistive Tools: Screen readers, voice recognition software, and other assistive technology can help you review your app. 

Identify and Improve: Detect and fix areas needing improvement to enhance accessibility. 

Example: Most Testing Automation companies use an iPhone’s VoiceOver screen reader to navigate the application and ensure all features are correctly read. 

Adhere to Section 508 Standards 

Equal Access: Ensure your app complies with Section 508 standards to provide equal access to information for people with disabilities. 

Compliance Checks: Regularly check your app against Section 508 standards to maintain compliance. 

Final Words 

Mobile app accessibility testing is critical to ensuring that mobile technology is inclusive for all users, including individuals with disabilities. It is essential to assess the usability of a mobile application or website for people with disabilities, such as those who are blind or have reduced vision, hearing loss, or restricted movement. This process can be done manually or using automated testing tools and techniques to guarantee that everyone can use assistive technologies to access the same information and functionality.  

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Co-Founder & Director, Business Management
AutomationQA is a leading automation research company. We believe in sharing knowledge and increasing awareness, and to contribute to this cause, we try to include all the latest changes, news, and fresh content from the automation world into our blogs.