Testing

It’s tempting to think of testing with screen-readers as being like testing with browsers. With browser testing, you’re checking to see how a particular piece of software deals with the code you’re throwing at it. A screen reader is a piece of software too, so it makes sense to approach it the same way, right?

I don’t think so. I think it’s really important that if someone is going to test your site with a screen reader, it should be someone who uses a screen reader every day.

Think of it this way: you wouldn’t want a designer or developer to do usability testing by testing the design or code on themselves. That wouldn’t give you any useful data. They’re already familiar with what problems the design is supposed to be solving, and how the interface works. That’s why you need to do usability testing with someone from outside, someone who wasn’t involved in the design or development process.

It’s no different when it comes to users of assistive technology. You’re not trying to test their technology; you’re trying to test how well the thing you’re building works for the person using the technology.

In short:

Don’t think of screen-reader testing as a form of browser testing; think of it as a form of usability testing.

Have you published a response to this? :

Responses

Previously on this day

6 years ago I wrote Hackfarming Tiny Planner

Hold me closer.

10 years ago I wrote The audio of place

There is no “there” there.

11 years ago I wrote Longevity, morphology, incept dates

The flame that’s Creative Commons licensed burns twice as long.

11 years ago I wrote 97 Bottles

I’ll need to see some OpenID.

13 years ago I wrote Announcing Bulletproof Ajax

Begin the countdown to the book launch.

16 years ago I wrote Shooting the band

I spent the wee hours of last night honing my Photoshop chops.

18 years ago I wrote The Lord of the Rings : The Fellowship Of The Ring

I’m going to chime in pretty late in the day with my thoughts on The Fellowship Of The Ring.

18 years ago I wrote "Google effect" reduces need for many domains

Here’s an upbeat article from Dan Gillmor.