Today is Global Accessibility Awareness Day, and we’ve recognized this important moment with a series of blog posts designed to help quality engineering teams start and sustain an accessibility testing practice that matches the demands of DevOps. Now we’re taking a look at how a real quality engineering team has embedded accessibility checks into their DevOps pipeline. 

Why Accessibility (and Accessibility Testing) Matters 

As the pandemic continues, digital platforms have become the de facto choice for many businesses and consumers, pushing a new wave of accessibility requirements from around the world. At the same time, the number of lawsuits concerning accessibility has risen significantly. This increasing legal and financial pressure only underscores the moral necessity of ensuring applications and websites are accessible by default, not when development teams have time to make reactive updates to customer-facing products.

Map showing what countries have adopted new accessibility standards.

Accessible Experiences are Beautiful Experiences at SmugMug

SmugMug is the safe, beautiful home for photos, providing passionate photographers at any level of experience a place to store, share, and sell high-quality photos. As the leading platform for photographers worldwide, SmugMug prides itself on building beautiful experiences for all users, regardless of access needs. 

For the SmugMug QA team, adopting accessibility checks with mabl aligned with the overall company mission and their own goal of empowering the development team to make bigger and bolder changes without sacrificing speed or confidence. When software testing is comprehensive and efficient, the entire software development organization can innovate faster. Accessibility checks help ensure that each new feature or product benefits the entire SmugMug user community. 

Accessibility Testing in mabl Makes Accessibility Efficient, Collaborative

As software becomes more complex and DevOps practices increase release cycles, testing is struggling to balance the need for more advanced quality strategies that cover all functional and non-functional testing, and enable rapid, iterative sprints. On one hand, there’s a wide range of automated testing tools that can support this growing range of testing needs. But a complex testing tech stack often results in a disparate testing strategy that allows more bugs to slip into production. A unified approach is key to enabling quality teams to establish and sustain a thorough quality engineering practice. 

For Dan Laabs, Senior Test Engineer at SmugMug, accessibility testing needed to be integrated into their larger software testing strategy. The team is small and has limited bandwidth to implement new tools, especially new testing tools that would require recreating existing end-to-end tests. Rather than creating a new accessibility testing process from scratch, Dan was able to see the value of accessibility testing with mabl in just 10 minutes by reusing existing tests and flows. 

Global Accessibility Awareness Day Encourages A More Inclusive Digital World

Global Accessibility Awareness Day is more than a day of recognition; it’s a time to consider how all of us can help build a more inclusive world that meets the access needs of everyone. Though a resurgence in accessibility requirements geared towards online experiences are pushing companies to seriously consider how they can improve the accessibility of their products, the real impetus is that accessibility is the right thing to do. Accessible software is quality software, period.

Organizations like SmugMug are proof that accessibility testing can be adopted as part of a quality engineering strategy that enables bolder, more confident development teams. Their platform is designed to help photographers of all levels celebrate their work: when people with different access needs are excluded, they have less support to pursue their passion. Thanks to accessibility testing with mabl, SmugMug is helping everyone live a creative life.

See how your team can start embracing accessibility testing with mabl's 14 day free trial