14 Overview of the Testing Process

Once you have decided to conduct accessibility testing on your website, there are four main steps:

  1. Planning the test
  2. Carrying out the testing
  3. Compiling the results of the testing
  4. Fixing all the identified defects or issues.

The rest of this page goes over some tips on planning your testing process and conducting the testing itself.

Planning Tips

Planning your testing process ahead of time can make the testing process more efficient and smooth. When you plan your testing process, consider the following:

  • Know your ultimate objectives and keep them in mind. For example, you may want to consider WCAG Success Criteria before testing and the WAI-ARIA Authoring Practices site for components like accordions or menus. A checklist or spreadsheet may also be helpful. Click here to download a sample WCAG 2.1 audit template (in Excel format).
  • Understand your end users’ priorities. There may be specific pages and workflows (such as enrolling in a course or checking a grade) that are more frequently used or should otherwise be prioritized. You can determine these priorities by discussing the site with stakeholders or users or you can reference site data and analytics.
  • Define modules for testing, where each module requires roughly the same level of effort to test. Usually, one page equals one module. For complex components or widgets on a page, you will want to treat them as separate modules. For example, if your page has some static text, a search bar, and a calendar, you may want to define these as three separate modules.
  • Organize testing into sprints, where each sprint will cover a specified set of modules.
  • Schedule time to fix issues in between each sprint.
  • Determine if you need access to test accounts or unique data to test specific features. For example, you may need a hypothetical student’s account and hypothetical courses and grades to test certain functionality.
  • Find people to test. Make sure they have the expertise and the time to do the testing.
  • Establish clear communications with IT staff and staff responsible for the content and develop workflows related to fixing issues once they’re identified.

Testing Tips

When testing for accessibility, it is good practice to:

  • Use appropriate testing tools (like those discussed the Testing Tools section). Make sure you’re able to install them and understand how to use them. These tools can be used in any order. Recommended tools include:
  • Log issues into a bug tracking system like Jira or a spreadsheet. Describe the unwanted behaviour, and recommend a specific fix if possible. Screenshots of the error are helpful.
  • Point to a specific WCAG success criterion for all identified issues, where possible.
  • Communicate bugs to third-party vendors if you do not have access to fix the error.
  • Whenever possible, work with IT staff and staff responsible for the content to address any issues promptly. Document issues that cannot be prioritized in a backlog.
  • Test your fixes and conduct regression testing to ensure the site and its features are still working as expected.


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eCampusOntario's Digital Accessibility Toolkit Copyright © by eCampus Ontario is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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