Skip to main content

Accessible websites can increase revenue by reaching a broader audience and improving user experience for everyone. Making products accessible can also benefit users without disabilities, such as those with temporary injuries or older adults with declining vision. Building accessibility into the development process can save time and money in the long run. To that end, accessibility testing has moved beyond websites to include mobile apps, software, and other digital products.

Part four of our blog series on Accessibility in UX Design covered Accessible UX Design for Different Types of Disabilities. Link will be added when this blog is published. Here, we will discuss the needs and types of accessibility testing most commonly used by UX designers and developers.

Understanding Accessibility Testing 

Accessibility testing is the practice of ensuring that websites, apps, and other digital products are usable by people with disabilities. This includes people with visual, hearing, motor, or cognitive impairments and other disabilities. The goal of accessibility testing is to ensure everyone can access and use digital products equally, regardless of their abilities. A product not accessible to people with disabilities is missing out on a large potential market.

Different Ways to do Accessibility Testing

Accessibility testing encompasses various methods to ensure digital products are usable and accessible to individuals with diverse needs. The goal is to create inclusive digital products that consider the diverse needs of all users. Combining these methods ensures a thorough and effective accessibility testing process. Some standard approaches include: 

Manual Testing

Manual testing involves hands-on product exploration using assistive technologies such as screen readers, magnifiers, or voice recognition tools. Testers simulate users’ experiences with different abilities to identify potential barriers and ensure the product is navigable and understandable for everyone. 

Automated Testing

Automated testing employs specialized tools that automatically scan digital products for accessibility issues. These tools can quickly identify common problems such as missing alt text for images, improper heading structures, or insufficient color contrast. While automated testing is efficient for detecting certain issues, it may not capture all aspects of accessibility, and manual testing is often necessary for a comprehensive evaluation.

Heuristic Evaluation

Heuristic evaluation involves assessing a product against established guidelines or heuristics focusing on accessibility principles. Evaluators, often accessibility experts, review the user interface and interaction elements to identify potential issues. This method is valuable for uncovering design or implementation choices that may impede accessibility, and it provides insights into how well a product adheres to recognized accessibility standards.

Accessibility Testing Checklist


  • Alternative text for images: Every image has a meaningful and descriptive alt text that conveys its purpose.
  • Image captions: Images that convey important information have captions that provide additional context.
  • Text alternatives for non-text content: Transcripts or captions are provided for audio and video content.
  • Content visibility: Text and visual elements have sufficient contrast against their backgrounds.
  • Text resizeability: Users can easily resize text up to 200% without losing content or functionality.
  • Color blindness considerations: Information is not conveyed by color alone.


  • Keyboard navigation: All functionality is accessible using only a keyboard.
  • Focus indicators: There’s a clear visual indication of focused elements.
  • Time limits: Users can adjust or disable time limits for tasks.
  • No keyboard traps: Users can navigate out of any interactive element using only a keyboard.


  • Clear and concise language: Content is easy to read and understand, avoiding jargon and complex sentence structures.
  • Predictable navigation: Navigation is consistent and intuitive, with clear labels and links.
  • Content structure: Information is organized logically, with headings and subheadings to guide understanding.
  • Error messages: Error messages are clear and concise and guide how to fix errors.


  • Compatibility with assistive technologies: The product works with various assistive technologies, such as screen readers and screen magnification software.
  • Content adaptability: Content can be presented differently without losing meaning (e.g., text can be read aloud).

Accessibility Testing Tools

Given below are some of the best accessibility testing tools to streamline the evaluation process.


WAVE (Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool) is a browser extension and suite of web accessibility testing tools developed by WebAIM. It helps identify and rectify accessibility issues on web pages. WAVE analyzes web content for conformance to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) and provides detailed reports on potential accessibility barriers. WAVE offers detailed reports and assists developers, designers, and content creators ensure their websites are accessible to individuals with disabilities. It is a valuable resource for achieving inclusive design and compliance with accessibility standards.


Siteimprove is a comprehensive accessibility testing tool designed to enhance the digital accessibility of websites. It evaluates web content against global accessibility standards, including WCAG. Siteimprove’s features include automated scans for accessibility issues, real-time monitoring, and prioritized recommendations for improvement. It provides detailed reports, allowing users to track progress over time and ensure compliance. With its user-friendly interface and actionable insights, Siteimprove supports organizations in creating and sustaining accessible digital experiences.


Lighthouse is an open-source, automated accessibility testing tool developed by Google. Integrated into Chrome DevTools and available as a browser extension, Lighthouse evaluates web pages for performance, SEO, and accessibility. It follows the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) and provides a detailed report highlighting potential issues affecting users with disabilities. Lighthouse offers actionable suggestions to improve accessibility, including recommendations for enhancing keyboard navigation, ensuring proper semantic HTML, and addressing contrast issues.

The UNBOX team is the UX COE at GS Lab | GAVS. The team focuses on the big picture while staying tuned to evolving trends, technologies, and human behavior. With about two decades of product engineering expertise, GS Lab | GAVS delivers best-in-class user experiences that drive product acceptance. To learn more about our User Experience Design services, please visit