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Yesterday, we addressed a key issue in expanding accessibility testing for DevOps: unclear ownership in accelerating development cycles. Here at mabl, we believe that quality assurance is best positioned to lead the transformation to a more inclusive digital world through expanded software testing and data-driven goals. As useful as accessibility checks are for ensuring that each code release is compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) - versions 2.0 and 2.1, the foundation for a sustainable accessibility testing strategy lies with the resulting data. 

Build Accessibility into Your Quality Engineering Practice

Low-code accessibility testing in mabl makes accessibility checks as simple as adding a step to existing end-to-end tests. Simply incorporating these steps into routine testing is a solid start to fully integrating accessibility into quality engineering, but to fully advocate for all users and amplify the impact of accessibility checks across their company, quality engineers need to build new practices and partnerships. 

Turn Empathy into Action

One of the core skills of the quality engineer is empathy. When QE is actively working to understand the perspective of the end user, they’re better able to champion the customer perspective in development. Accessibility checks and reporting are critical for turning that empathy into action so that all customers have a positive experience with an organization’s application or website. 

Running automated accessibility checks with mabl results in a dashboard with accessibility issues ranked from critical to minor, making it easy for QA teams with limited familiarity with accessibility standards to start understanding where their product can be improved. Screenshot showing accessibility issue trends in mabllMabl’s accessibility reports automatically group similar issues that may be detected across multiple test runs, so quality engineering teams can spend less time chasing down false positives and more time focusing on the issues that matter to customers. This unified view across all accessibility issues drastically simplifies the time and effort needed to identify and resolve accessibility issues, helping quality engineering teams improve the user experience for all customers without slowing down DevOps pipelines. 

Expand Exploratory Testing and Collaborate with Accessibility Audit Teams

A thorough accessibility management strategy uses a combination of embedded accessibility checks, targeted exploratory testing, and regular audits to ensure all customers have a positive experience with an application. Mabl’s accessibility reporting features aggregates test data into trend reports, so quality engineers can easily collaborate with legal and compliance teams that manage any existing accessibility audits. 

Using accessibility trend data, quality engineers can expand manual exploratory testing to target frequently flagged accessibility issues. If form elements often lack accurate labeling, for example, common tools like screen readers allow software testers to emulate the experience of users with vision impairment. This technique taps into the natural empathy of QA professionals for a better quality strategy. Data from automated testing can help inform testers of issues that might otherwise slip by standard exploratory testing, and give quality engineers a common source of knowledge to collaborate with compliance teams.  

Advocate for All Users and Improve Customer Relationships

One billion people worldwide live with some form of access need. Though building inclusive experiences for them is morally necessary and good business sense, many quality engineering teams struggle with creating an accessibility testing strategy with real impact. Unified accessibility issue and trend reporting make it possible to fix issues faster and collaborate with compliance experts for a holistic accessibility solution. 

See how Friend of mabl SmugMug is embracing accessible development practices at our  webinar on Wednesday, May 18th. Can’t make the live event? Register to receive the full recording and discover how a real quality engineering team built accessibility checks into their development pipelines.