Digital accessibility is fast becoming a legal requirement, and is already a hugely important element of SEO rankings.
In addition, some sources estimate the combined spending power of the nearly 4.3 million disabled online shoppers who click away from inaccessible websites in the UK to be in excess of £11 billion. Often dubbed ‘the purple pound’, retail and financial services companies overlook this valuable revenue stream at their peril.
The main standards by which sites are ranked as accessible are the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) from the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative. The standards set in these guidelines vary, but WCAG 2.1, Level AA reflects the benchmark. Our Consultants are experts in quickly assessing websites for accessibility, using a range of varied yet complementary techniques to guarantee the standards are met.
Our test approach is a mixture of Manual and Automated Testing. Using a range of continually updated tools, we will work to make your website:
Text is readable and the page is uncluttered. Where appropriate, text alternatives are provided for media content, such as alt text for images, or accurate transcripts, captions, and audio description for audio / video files.
The site is easily navigable and can be accessed using a range of assistive technologies, such as screen readers, screen magnifiers, and text-to-speech software. Keyboard-only functionality is ensured. Page elements do not disappear abruptly, giving older users, for instance, enough time to interact with them. Elements also do not move around rapidly or blink; doing so can cause issues for users with ADD or photosensitive epilepsy, respectively.
Text is written in simple language and is easily translatable. Users are clearly notified about any errors they have made when filling out a form.
Site content is made compatible with existing and future technologies.
Our team of accessibility specialists leverage their experience to provide a detailed breakdown of a site's accessibility level, whether it's about to go live, or has just undergone a major overhaul. We also offer regular assessments as part of our testing process, helping us catch accessibility issues as your site grows and develops. These assessments are frequently automated to increase efficiency and reduce prices.
At its core, our testing approach is designed around the following user needs:
- Accessing your website using a screen reader
- Measuring the colour contrast ratios
- Recommending adjustments in font and page sizes
- Assessing clarity of audio content
- Ensuring videos have closed captions where appropriate
- Testing keyboard-only access
- Using an alternative pointing device
To carry out these hands-on tests, we also make use of the following tools. These help us to gain a real insight into the digital experience of a disabled user, allowing us to ensure that nothing is missed on the WCAG checklist:
Accessibility is of huge importance to public sector clients, since large amounts of disabled and / or elderly people rely on their digital offerings. In the past few years, we have successfully tested a number of UK Government sites for WCAG compliance.
More broadly, over the past twenty years Prolifics Testing has supported major public sector clients like the MOD, MOJ, and Public Health England with software testing services. We appreciate that in this sector, reputations of trust and reliability are vital when it comes to websites and apps.
We are also proud to have been a G-Cloud supplier since 2014. Currently, our specialist software testing services are on the latest G-Cloud 12 Framework for Cloud Support.
Prolifics Testing offers clients an efficient and affordable Accessibility Testing service.
There are three stages to our testing process:
- Automated and Manual testing
- Analysis and reporting
The first stage involves establishing the limits of test scope (i.e. the number and nature of linked pages to be checked). An important part of planning is to identify the common elements of each page. Most sites are structured using a common framework and stylesheet, meaning that their common elements need only be tested once.
This accelerates the testing process by helping us to target those elements that differ from page to page. It also helps to make our reports more readable and succinct.
Here are some examples of what we look at when assessing a site:
- Page Structure (tables, headings, common elements, styles)
- Non-text Content (images, buttons, form but tons, frames, iframes)
- Time-based media (whether audio / video is present)
- Are there any time limits on page functionality (carousels, authentication time out)?
- Is some content on the pages shown on mouseover (:hover, :focus, :active pseudo-classes)?
- What level of compliance is to be audited against (WCAG 2.1 A / AA / AAA)?
Based on our findings, we then produce a list of manual checks to be carried out alongside the automated tests.
Automated and Manual testing
The second stage is to perform the actual tests. We use a range of testing tools to detect initial site problems, ensuring results are thorough and consistent. Once the automated testing has concluded, the results are checked and manually cross-referenced, before being included in the report.
The team then performs the manual tests identified earlier, using assistive technologies such as screen readers, visual impairment simulator software, or a mouse-less set-up, to replicate the actual user experience for disabled people.
The complete set of test results, together with links back to the WCAG standards, will then be provided to you. Most of our clients aim for WCAG 2.1 AA.
Analysis and reporting
The final stage involves working with you to act on any issues found. Having provided a comprehensive report of the results, we will work with your developers to fix the issues, enabling you to feel confident about your website or application.
Why Prolifics Testing?
- Implement accessibility standards and meet legal requirements.
- Improve trust, user experience and satisfaction in order that your website be usable by every user, including those with disabilities.
- Avoid issues when launching your application.
- Decrease time and cost allocated to accessibility testing thanks to our latest tools and expert team.
- Generate easy to read reports and recommendations to fix any issues.
- Increase your market share and audience reach.
- Receive documented evidence that your application is compliant with WCAG