What We Learned from the Holiday Season
As the dust settles on the first retail battle of the holiday season, app designers and testers...
Mobile apps are designed for a multitude of reasons, whether that be to create an engaging way for users to participate in e-commerce or as a means to connect with new friends across the globe. Whatever the purpose, reaching the widest available audience with a sense of thoughtfulness and openness is critical to establishing and maintaining a mobile brand, and accessibility is at the forefront of just such an initiative.
According to the CDC, it’s estimated that one in every four American adults lives with a disability. Accessibility in mobile app testing means recognizing this fact and integrating accessibility measures and protocols into the testing process of an app’s development with the aim of accommodating as many users as possible, accounting for a range of disabilities and impairments that technology has long since been modified to address. It’s both a morally-informed policy for testing teams to implement as well as a sound business strategy to present your app to individuals of a variety of backgrounds and abilities.
Kobiton has long appreciated the need for ADA compliance as a central development tenet in a testing team’s ethos, and has accordingly created a variety of accessibility measures to enhance the user experience by ensuring that your app is fully prepared to reach a variety of users and accommodate a range of needs. Before we get into that, let’s delve a bit deeper into discussing who exactly benefits from accessibility testing in app development.
While it’s critical for mobile apps to cast the widest net of potential users possible, it’s also best practice to consider that you are testing for a mobile app that may have a transformative role in shaping someone’s life experience that is living with a disability. Many individuals rely on mobile apps to ease their experience or assist with everyday tasks. A number of apps, like Be My Eyes or Assistive Touch, directly impact individuals by creating a niche product that’s designed to augment the ability of an individual with a visual impairment or physical disability to navigate daily tasks.
What mobile app testers should consider is that accessibility extends beyond these types of apps designed explicitly for individuals with disabilities, that individuals from a variety of ability-backgrounds utilize fintech and social media apps on a daily basis. Accessibility in testing means ensuring that customers, no matter what your app may focus on accomplishing or who is targeted towards, are recognized and assisted to the best of your company’s ability. While this may seem like a moral imperative, it’s also a legal one as well; it’s up to your team to guarantee ADA compliance. A number of legal proceedings have established that the Americans with Disabilities Act extends to the internet and mobile market. Mobile app developers should make it a priority to consider whether or not their app is ADA compliant, and that can be done through the use of mobile app testing.
Kobiton has long held an adherence to accessibility, and that commitment extends to a variety of new areas within the Kobiton platform. First, testers can now benefit from having the ability to initiate accessibility validations via Appium Desired Capabilities or in manual testing sessions. There are a range of Capabilities that Appium already supports, with Kobiton extending these to focus on accessibility-specific issues.
For example, support is extended to enhance accessibility validations by means of measuring adequate touch target size. This accessibility measure ensures that touch target’s conform to the w3 standards of a 9mm high by 9mm wide touch target minimum, not accounting for screen magnification, device size or resolution. The ultimate function is for Kobiton to ensure that users with visual impairments or disabilities that affect motor functions are able to comfortably interact with links, buttons and icons in your app. You can further use Kobiton’s testing platform to check for accessibility via color contrast validations, making certain that users with visual impairments are granted full accessibility to view the display of your mobile app.
An overhauled UI in the Kobiton testing platform consolidates your accessibility results in one easy-to-use experience, further cementing accessibility as a focal point of your testing regimen by demonstrating how your app stacks up to accessibility standards on the Session Explorer. Mobile app testers that represent digitally-native brands in fintech, social media, e-commerce, gaming or otherwise can benefit from Kobiton’s focused efforts on accessibility. Recommit to a standard of excellence in inclusive practices by leveraging Kobiton’s accessibility enhancements to better serve the diverse needs of your user base.
To learn more about the issues around accessibility and testing, download our eBook: A Guide to Accessibility at the Forefront of Testing.