Go a Step Above
Equalize Digital’s Audit to CertificationTM process includes live user testing as part of the website accessibility remediation phase. User testing with blind and visually impaired users is a great way to determine the effectiveness of what’s already been implemented and allows us to confirm that the remediation is complete.
In addition to including accessibility user testing with our remediation packages, we’re able to offer accessibility user testing as a stand-alone service to organizations or that have already instituted accessibility features on their website. Equalize Digital can activate native testers at a variety of ability levels — from novice to highly technical — to test your website, application, or other software with the assistive devices that they use every day. Our blind and visually impaired testers will provide useful and highly relevant feedback that can be used to further improve your website’s accessibility.
All testing is performed in-person in our Georgetown, Texas office and recorded for future reference. Clients are invited to attend user testing sessions to ask questions and observe first-hand how various users navigate their website.
- Confirm the successful remediation of your website with real-world users.
- Receive actionable feedback about the items that tripped up users.
- Better understand how people with disabilities navigate the internet.
- Have the opportunity to ask questions and observe people of various abilities using your website or software.
How to Get the Most Out of Website User Testing
A standard audit will show whether your website meets the requirements for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), which will help you meet requirements under ADA, Section 508, AODA, and other laws. By contrast, user testing your website provides the most enlightening feedback regarding real-world usability. Learn more about our user testing capabilities and recommendations for getting the best results from user testing sessions, below.
User testing for accessibility is best performed on websites that are believed to be fully accessible. Prior to user testing, we recommend that websites or applications – whether existing or new – be audited for accessibility and have all identified issues corrected. This allows for our testers to provide the best feedback possible on usability without wasting time highlighting more obvious errors like missing alt tags or form labels.
Ensure Full Coverage
We employ blind and visually impaired testers using JAWS, NVDA, and VoiceOver with keyboard navigation on desktop and voice control on mobile. For websites that serve audiences with lower reading levels or lower cognitive function, we also recommend testing with users in that demographic. To get the most out of your user testing sessions, we recommend including both novice and highly technical users who are representative of the users that may be on your website.
Ask Questions & Document Results
Recording testing sessions provides a reference that can be reviewed if further remediation is needed or a record proving accessibility. We always recommend that website decision-makers be present at user tests as nothing can more clearly represent the importance of accessibility features than seeing your website navigated in a nontraditional manner. During these tests, we ask lots of questions throughout the process and encourage clients to do so as well.
Our Website Accessibility User Testing Process
Our user testing process follows a number of steps to ensure that your compliance goes above and beyond the standard requirements your organization may need to meet. Equalize Digital’s blind and visually impaired testers will thoroughly test your website or application and report on the barriers they found, necessary changes to remove those barriers, and steps that you can take to go “above and beyond” in delivering a superior accessibility experience.
At the start of the testing engagement, we put together a brief that our testers will follow. The testing brief will factor in all the functional components of the website or application you want tested, plus any other areas where feedback is needed, and provide a list of desired tasks for testers to perform
Our testers will work through the tasks outlined in the testing brief, testing for usability with screen reading software, keyboard navigation, and the assistive technology present on modern mobile devices. Testing may take 1-3 days depending upon the size and scope of the website to be tested. We generally recommend having at least two different testers for each engagement and testing using both PC and Mac computers.
After collating the verbal feedback and raw audio/video recordings from our testers, our team will present its findings in an actionable PDF format, including any relevant screenshots and direct quotes from our testers. The work for any required accessibility remediation will be quoted as part of the report (if the tested website is not already in our Audit to Certification process).
Need user testing for your website or application?
Website user testing is included in all of our remediation packages.
If you have a website or application that needs user testing to round out your own accessibility testing, we would be happy to help.
Because each organization’s needs can vary in scope and timeline, our user testing proposals are tailored to suit your specific requirements. Schedule a complimentary initial consultation and request a proposal by visiting the link below.
User Testing FAQs
We partner with Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired to provide website accessibility user testing services. Through this partnership, we’re able to hire blind and visually impaired young adults who are both experienced with and new at screen reader use. In addition to providing us with valuable feedback about their experience navigating our client’s sites, our testers also gain real-world work experience.
Occasionally we may work with older disabled adults and individuals with cognitive or other limitations, depending upon client needs.
All of our testers are paid a living wage on an hourly basis, well above minimum wage, for the valuable service they provide. We do not believe people with disabilities should be paid less than minimum wage for their work under any circumstances.
Testing may take 1-3 days depending upon the size and scope of the website to be tested. Typically the full timeline from inquiry to report delivery is 3-6 weeks depending upon the amount of time it takes to create a testing brief, how much testing is needed, and if we’re scheduling testing around the client’s schedule.
If you need user testing completed on a rush timeline, we may be able to accommodate you. Please get in touch.
Yes! We highly encourage all website decision-makers to be present at the testing session or sessions. Being able to observe real-world users of assistive technology who have never before navigated your website use it for the first time and having the opportunity to speak directly with them about their experience on the site is a truly eye-opening experience.
The final deliverables for website user testing include:
- A written PDF report describing the overall state of the website and any problems identified, along with any relevant screenshots and direct quotes from our testers.
- Recommendations on how to resolve all identified issues.
- Links to download any videos recorded during the testing session.
- A quote for any required accessibility remediation, if the tested website is not already in our Audit to Certification process.
- A meeting with our team to review the report and recommendations.
Screen readers are software programs that allow visually impaired and blind users to navigate the web and use programs on their computer by reading out what is being shown on the screen. You can see an example of this in the video recording of one of our website testing sessions, below.
For a transcript of this video or additional information on how screen readers work, please visit our learning center article, “What are Screen Readers?“
Yes. Our team is capable of fixing all errors identified in your core website, and will provide you with a cost estimate should you want us to do so.
Some third-party tools and/or plugins that you may have included in your website may not be open source or editable by our team. In the instance that errors are caused by these tools, we may not be able to fix them and will provide you with a detailed list of options for resolving the errors, which may include removing them and replacing them with alternative solutions.
Remediation timelines are unique for every client depending upon several items, including the number of problems present on the site and the budget available for fixes. Our goal is to remediate all issues as quickly as possible, and some clients choose to have an intense remediation phase over several weeks following the audit. Other clients may elect to enter a remediation plan that stretches over many months due to the number of problems that need to be addressed, the number of pages requiring manual review, and their budget.
Yes. Our team has developed accessible websites and web applications and has provided accessibility consulting for large universities, government agencies, and enterprise-level clients.
Yes. We’re happy to provide accessibility testing and consulting to other marketing agencies and WordPress theme or plugin developers. We strongly believe in making the internet a more accessible place and love having the opportunity to review and provide recommendations to free and commercial themes and plugins.