Usability & Accessibility Testing: Art & Craft behind

Usability & Accessibility is a critical aspect of an application which when ignored could blast the purpose of any application. No matter how good are other aspects for an application if it is not well presented & organized then it does affect the end-users. An application will feel happy when it is getting used but it will feel proud if the numbers of hits are increasing exponentially 🙂 . Alright! I don’t know how an application will feel but it is definitely the case with the team involved who put lot of efforts to create & test an application. Usability & Accessibility are criteria which aid you to achieve those proud moments.

There is a lot of material & discussion related to this topic accessible over huge WWW. So, let us have a small look on how do we approach & implement usability & accessibility testing.

1.  Observation skills:

Don’t think of yourself as a tester. Test as if you are a user & observe the behavior of the application. The moment you notice any annoying or uncomfortable activities in the application you can consider them as bug. But, considering an activity as a bug doesn’t mean you can report them 🙂 . Before reporting bug, first, think of the same activity from different perspective, think of it as wide variety of audience & not as a single end-user. Think whether this activity is intentional, will it benefit to end-user? If you are unable to decide then you can always take suggestions from your colleagues or friends. When you do ask for suggestion compose it as fun exercise or short group discussion.

For example, Let us consider web application “http://in.bookmyshow.com/”. There is a feature “Book movie tickets instantly”. So, what are your inputs on this considering usability & accessibility aspects? Do you have any better suggestion to improve end-user experience? What are the plus & minus points of this feature? This helps you note down what is the thought procedure of different users, you get a quick list of suggestions & ideas, plus a session full of fun & lively interaction. Here is the mindmap of this fun exercise (duration: 20 minutes) I just played with my friends Sunil & Vishnu.

Usability & Accessibility exercise_Module_Book movie tickets instantly
Usability & Accessibility exercise_Module_Book movie tickets instantly

One of my friend curious tester always state that “One should become blind, deaf & dumb when testing for usability & accessibility aspects for an application”. Indeed, this is a nice approach to follow.

2. Use of Add-on’s:

As I quoted above in observation skills “Test as if you are a user”. But, we are not normal users since we are allowed to cheat little bit 🙂 . What I meant is we can take help of browser add-on. Use of add-on in software testing is indeed a boon. As mentioned, in my Next-Gen Testers post, how add-on’s aid in becoming someone god of testing. Let me demonstrate you how efficient the use of add-on could be for chrome browser.

Usability & Accessibility Ideas & Add-on relationship
Usability & Accessibility Ideas & Add-on relationship

Useful links for re-size window usability testing:

  1. http://quirktools.com/screenfly/
  2. http://responsivepx.com/
  3. http://resizemybrowser.com/
  4. http://mattkersley.com/responsive/

3. Check list for Accessibility ideas:

Check list for Accessibility ideas
Check list for Accessibility ideas

4. Stuff to include in your report:

There are lots of ways being followed in the industry to write long & lengthy reports. There is no meaning in drafting long reports if no one is going to read it. Then why do we waste our time in preparing them just for the sake of evidence? Usability & Accessibility report should exhibit useful information like positive/negative points for specific features, user ratings, suggestions to improve that feature for rich user-experience & other stuff which actually impact our end users. Presenting data, reviews, statistics in terms of graphical format like charts (Pie, bar, column charts) aids everyone to interpret information much faster.

5. Must refer links for Usability:

  1. http://www.usereffect.com/download/checklist.pdf
  2. http://www.useit.com/
  3. http://www.boxesandarrows.com/about
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4 thoughts on “Usability & Accessibility Testing: Art & Craft behind

  1. Hi Yagnesh,

    Good and entertaining post. Keep them coming!

    You/Moolya seem to have a good set of Usability heuristics in the testing process. Web Developer plays a big part too, which is good because the tool is just fantastic also for web testers.

    The first mindmap (about the movie service) on your post is a nice example of a simple Usability Testing report. Surely someone could say “there should be pictures” etc. but I would not say those are needed in this context. There is definitely beauty in simplicity.

    The Internet is full of more heuristics, so I won’t go too deeply in that, but I would like to say: generally speaking, web pages with sound enabled by default are freaking annoying. I am not talking about Youtube or other similar services, but for example about hotel web pages where they have some muzak on the background.

    All in all, this is a very good continuation to your previous blog. I really liked you opened a bit more on the usage of these tools in Moolya. Thanks!

    Have a great day,
    Jari

    PS. Lost one comment by clicking a zoom.it link on your page. 🙂

    1. Hi Jari,

      Thanks for such a wonderful comment. Regarding the first mindmap example idea of converting sessions into playing fun exercise is something I got from Santhosh. Santhosh always keeps playing small games on heuristics for various topics with everyone at Moolya. He keeps people inspiring & that is what I would like to do 🙂

      Thanks again Jari,
      Have a nice day 🙂
      ~Yagnesh

  2. Yagnesh, Yet another very well written blog post from you. I hope companies which are not considering usability and accessibility testing would start considering them in future. May be not doing usability and accessibility testing is not causing harm to their business but, considering them they can do much better by making their business scale to heights of improvement. Let us hope for it.

    Keep it up.

    — Santhosh Tuppad

    1. Thanks for the compliments Santhosh. I agree with you. Let us start making small difference & hope this will become an ocean of change in the industry 🙂

      Thanks again,
      ~Yagnesh

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