A Complete Guide to Web Accessibility Testing

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Searching for accessibility bugs is very important either for front-end developers or for testers.

Moreover, there are numerous misconceptions that may mislead you when you will perform accessibility testing.

This article gives useful tips on tools and techniques that you should use while performing web accessibility testing.

First impressions or zero elaborations of first tests

Why should the first step be called a zero one? The reason is that it’s optional.

You don’t need to analyze software code or connect numerous external tools: we talk here only about the feelings a tester has when visiting a website he/she is testing for the first time. This takes no more than a couple of minutes.

This testing step is based on an assumption used to check if a website values its accessibility or not. This can be checked by analyzing the website’s design — whether it solves actual issues or its content leaves an unpleasant and even annoying impression?

What should we analyze?

  • Readability: to what extent is website text readable?
  • Marks: are there interactive marks?
  • Video: are videos played automatically?
  • Animations: is a website not overloaded with animated blocks?

All of the above can be the first signs that proper accessibility was not taken into account while developing a website.

Further, we should apply a more scientific approach to catch the most widespread bugs.

The TAB button

Let’s use the TAB button. Not every user uses a keyboard and mouse to work with websites — some people may use only the keyboard’s buttons.

Modern HTML supports navigating with a keyboard by default but only if it’s properly configured. But sometimes some developers can forget about this and so this simple action becomes completely impossible.

We’d like to mention that not all web browsers behave in the same way. In Google Chrome/Edge, the TAB button behaves in one way, and in macOS, there are a few exceptions (for example, a focus can only be set for input fields and buttons but not for links.)

A set of automated testing tools

Automated software has an advantage since it’s easy and user-friendly: it can help to get an instantly reproduced result. It helps to find visible bugs that can be easily fixed.

You can use the Lighthouse tool to search for such bugs since it catches numerous accessibility bugs, optimizes SEO, and also provides complete functionality to optimize performance.

For sure, automated software can’t find all bugs — it can find from 65 to 71% of the total number of defects.


If you haven’t found bugs after taking all these actions, then you have done everything correctly. Websites that don’t contain accessibility bugs are extremely rare nowadays (according to the poll made by WebAIM, about 98% of all websites have some issues with accessibility).

Finding serious accessibility issues are connected, first of all, with lack of skills or that “esthetical was more important than practical.”

Work with website’s accessibility is useful and popular and extremely needed in the age of digitalization.

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