Common Pitfalls in Mobile App Accessibility Testing and How to Avoid Them?
For millions of people, mobile devices have become an indispensable part of daily life. Web-enabled gadgets, like tablets and smartphones, have become indispensable for entertainment, knowledge, and interaction on a global scale. More than 60% of all internet users worldwide accessed the internet via a mobile device in 2022.
Mobile apps function in a special environment where touchscreen adaptability, alerts and notifications, and alterations in network connectivity (such as dropped links or bandwidth modifications) can all have an impact on the behavior of the application. To ensure digital content is accessible to all, more testing is necessary in this particular environment.
This article explores the topic of digital accessibility and highlights common accessibility errors that should be avoided during mobile app accessibility testing. Read on!
Table of Contents:
- What Is Mobile App Accessibility Testing?
- Four Common Pitfalls in Mobile App Accessibility Testing
- Three Solutions to Avoid Issues in Mobile App Accessibility Testing
What Is Mobile App Accessibility Testing?
Testing for mobile app accessibility guarantees that people with disabilities can access websites and apps. This covers a range of physical, mental, auditory, and visual impairments. Ensuring that all users, irrespective of their abilities or constraints, can easily and efficiently utilize the functions and content available on these platforms is the aim of mobile accessibility testing.
Four Common Pitfalls in Mobile App Accessibility Testing
Mobile app accessible testing is an essential process that significantly improves the applications’ ability to comply with legal requirements and avert possible legal action. Here are some of the common pitfalls that need to be addressed in the process:
1. Ignoring Text Replacements for Pictures
It is imperative to tackle the problem of neglecting text alternatives for images in accessibility testing. This indicates that pictures in digital content do not have “alt text” or descriptive text, which is necessary for screen readers or people with visual impairments.
An image’s alt text describes the image’s content and intended use through text. This data shows that individuals with visual impairments can comprehend and interact with the content. People who use screen readers or have sluggish internet connections could lose out on important information if alt text needs to be done correctly.
To guarantee universal digital accessibility, testers, and testing service providers need to make sure that descriptive alt text is present.
2. Establishing Inaccessible Forms and Menus
A critical component of mobile app accessibility testing is evaluating the look and feel of interactive features on applications, such as forms and menus. People with disabilities might not be able to navigate or use these elements or key features.
Menus should be made to work with a variety of input devices, including screen readers, spoken instructions, and keyboard navigation. They should make it simple for all users to interact with them by offering labels, feedback, and clear guidelines.
Finding and fixing the existence of inaccessible forms and menus is crucial for accessibility.
3. Not Providing Enough Colour Contrast
When it comes to mobile app accessibility testing, it’s critical to focus on the problem of adequate color contrast. This is when the background and text color selections don’t adhere to the required color contrast guidelines.
For those who have low vision, color blindness, or other visual impairments, it is imperative to ensure sufficient color contrast. It ensures content that is readable and understandable. For visual accessibility, text and images must have a minimum contrast ratio of 4.5:1, with larger text needing a ratio of 3:1.
Finding situations in which there is insufficient color contrast is crucial for accessibility testing. When testing digital platforms, testers should make sure that text and other visual components adhere to contrast specifications.
4. Disregarding Mobile Device Compatibility
Accessing digital content is most rampant with the use of mobile devices. Hence, it is vital to guarantee that applications on mobile devices are usable by everyone, including those with disabilities.
A disjointed user experience may result from accessibility testing that disregards mobile device compatibility. This is due to the possibility that features designed for desktop computers may not perform well on devices with smaller screens or touch-based interfaces.
Three Solutions to Avoid Issues in Mobile App Accessibility Testing
A large number of the most widely used apps on Android and iOS have substantial accessibility issues. Adopting accessibility can help you better serve all users and highlight the values of your brand.
Here are some effective tips to do so:
1. Avoid Applying a One-Size-Fits-All Strategy to Mobile Testing
Each application is unique, and testing a web application differs greatly from testing a native application. The particular features of an application might call for extra thought.
If you’re creating an app for art, for instance, you might need to include communications that restrict accessibility. Nevertheless, you can still increase accessibility by adhering to other pertinent WCAG criteria.
2. Do Not Rely on Automated Tests Entirely
For iOS and Android, automated accessibility tools are available. But no automated test is flawless, and there aren’t many tools available for testing mobile apps.
Certain barriers that are unique to a given mobile context might be overlooked by an automated tool. They’re also usually limited to specific kinds of content; for example, while automation can identify most of the obstacles in a web application, it might overlook dozens of critical problems in a native application (or vice versa).
It’s also critical to keep in mind that certain WCAG requirements call for human judgment.
3. Conduct Tests Using Various Devices
Though it might seem apparent, not every one of your users is using the most recent iPhone. Your user base will be sizable and comprise a range of gadgets and assistive technologies if your app is a hit.
The whole range of your user base should be represented in your mobile app testing approach. To achieve this, test your product as much as you can.
- Employ on-the-go screen readers to check your formatting
- Make sure your app is keyboard accessible by testing it using a keyboard instead of touchscreen controls
- Use real devices everywhere possible. Simulators of mobile environments are not flawless, particularly if your application relies on accelerometers, geolocation, or other characteristics unique to mobile devices.
To obtain reliable outcomes, mobile app accessibility testing should ideally be carried out on real devices. Maintaining inventory is an obstacle for small organizations, and choosing the appropriate devices, operating systems, and testing strategy is crucial.
Once you have prepared responses to all of the aforementioned queries, the tester’s skill is a further factor that should never be overlooked.
In this context, Hurix Digital can help if you’re seeking accessibility testing solutions. We use a variety of technical tools and human assistance to evaluate the content of your website for compliance with accessibility standards.
Contact us for more info!
Gokulnath B is the Associate Vice President – Editorial Services. He is PMP, CSM, and CPACC certified and has 20+ years of experience in Project Management, Delivery Management, and managing the Offshore Development Centre (ODC).