Welcome to our series on the ICT Symposium’s Mobile Site and Native App Accessibility Testing. For the next couple of months we will be posting a couple of times a week! We will be posting a series of articles to help testers and developers determine and improve the accessibility of their mobile websites and apps. All this information is already online in Word format, so if you can’t wait check out our page on Mobile testing. Our previous article was Mobile Site and Native App Accessibility Testing: Introduction – Day One, or check out our page with links to all the published Mobile Site and Native App Methodology articles.
Step 1: Identifying devices
There are many variables when determining which devices to test with. However, with some research, testers can at least determine which devices are or will be most frequently used to access the target mobile site or native app.
In Australia, the United States, the UK and other western countries, iOS devices are most popular. In Asia and other eastern countries, Android devices are most popular. To best find which devices to test on, review the Google Analytics or other analytics system.
Recommended device and browser combinations
This methodology recommends the following devices and browser combinations:
- iPhone (with Safari for mobile sites)
- iPad (with Safari for mobile sites)
- Android phone (with Chrome for mobile sites)
If more resources are available, other devices to consider testing on are:
- Android tablet, e.g. Samsung Tab A or Chromebook (with Chrome for mobile sites)
- An alternative device, such as a Kindle
When testing, be sure to use the latest version of iOS, and the latest two versions of Android OS.
A note on Android devices
Due to the popularity of the Android system, there are tens of thousands of Android operating systems and browser combinations available. It is not possible to test on all these systems. The “Internet” browser that comes pre-packaged with most Samsung phones is very dependent on the operating system itself, and it is a better representation to test with Chrome.
A note on desktop-only sites
Even if the site is a desktop site, people will still use the site on mobile with various assistive technologies. Most mobile devices allow the user to request the “desktop site”, so it is important that mobile testing of desktop sites is also conducted, even if there is a specific m.dot site.
A note on VoiceOver
In some cases, as with VoiceOver, these assistive technologies are available on both desktop and browser; however, this does not mean that the assistive technology will behave the same on mobile as it does on desktop. It is necessary to test these assistive technologies on mobile even if they have already been tested on the desktop.
A note on Samsung’s Voice Assistant
Samsung includes an additional screen reader called Voice Assistant, however TalkBack is still available as part of the Accessibility Suite. Amazon Fire also utilizes a different screen reader called Voice View. When deciding whether to test these assistive technologies, look at your user base to determine usage.
A note on sites and native apps aimed at specific groups of people with disabilities
Another thing to consider is sites and apps aimed at people with a specific kind of disability (e.g. the app Be My Eyes). When testing, be sure to include assistive devices and/or other assistive technologies used by the target audience.
Up next for Mobile Site Accessibility Testing is Step 2: Identify site type and variations.
Up next for Native App Accessibility Testing is Step 2: Define application functionality.
This document was developed by the ICT Accessibility Testing Symposium Mobile Sub-Committee. Members include: Gian Wild (Co-Chair), Peter McNally (Co-Chair), Brent Davis, Corbb O’Connor, Karen Herr, Kathryn Weber-Hottleman, Kathy Eng, Laura Renfro, Megha Rajopadhye, Mona Rekhi, Morgan Lee Kestner, Rafal Charlampowicz, Ryan Pugh, Steve Sawczyn, Sunish Gupta, Tom Lawton and Chris Law This document was developed by the ICT Accessibility Testing Symposium Native App Sub-Committee. Members include: Gian Wild (Co-Chair), Jennifer Chadwick (Co-Chair), Kathy Eng, Ryan Pugh, Kathryn Weber-Hottleman, Brent Davis, Laura Renfro, Peter McNally, Karen Herr, Steve Sawczyn, Sunish Gupta, Tom Lawton, Sam Bouchat, Rafal Charlampowicz, Damon Wandke, Morgan Lee Kester, Mona Rekhi, Corbb O’Connor and Chris Law.