WebAIM - Web Accessibility In Mind

E-mail List Archives

Remote Usability Testing for AT users


From: Caitlin Geier
Date: May 23, 2017 11:57AM

I only just stumbled across this; I've been struggling with this for a
little while, but have come up with a few solutions.

The main key with testing with users with disabilities, particularly if
they use assistive technology to help them, is to find a way for them to be
able to do testing using their own devices. When testing with users who use
devices like screen readers, it's also important for whatever you're
testing to be fully coded and at least marginally accessible to begin with.
Screen reader users and users who can't use a mouse tend to be the most
challenging to test with because the technology used to do the remote
testing needs to be accessible to them.

For moderated remote testing on websites or desktop-based applications,
that usually just means finding a screensharing tool that's accessible.
Screensharing tools I've used that are reasonably accessible (i.e.
keyboard-only and screen reader users can actually access the functionality
to share their own screen):
* Google Hangouts
* Webex

It's good to check if the user has been able to successfully share their
screen with others in the past using a particular tool before you ask them
to do it for you. If they've successfully shared their screen with a tool
you've never used, see if you can get access to that tool and try it out.
Otherwise, if you want to try screensharing with a tool your user has never
used before, you will need to be VERY familiar with how the tool works with
both a keyboard and a screen reader so that you can instruct the user
you're working with in how to use the tool to share their screen.

Asking your user to share their screen with you can be enormously helpful,
because you can follow along with them much more easily and help them if
they get stuck on something unrelated to what you're testing. But sometimes
asking your user to share their screen is too much of a hardship. You can
also get by by simply doing the test over the phone and asking your user to
describe what they're seeing (or hearing) on the page in detail while you
follow along on your own screen. It helps - but isn't necessary - to have
some familiarity with the keyboard accessibility and screen reader
accessibility of the site or application you're testing before you do
testing over the phone so you can follow along more easily.

I wrote a 2-part article about this a little while back: Part 1 is about
considerations for remote testing in general
and Part 2 is about planning the test

Another option for screen reader users which I've just started
experimenting with is using NVDA Remote to allow an NVDA user to test a
site / application remotely using my computer. Basically, the user controls
my computer using a connection between their copy of NVDA and my copy of
NVDA. There's a similar feature for newer versions of JAWS which I haven't
tried (JAWS is expensive). The advantage here is that you can a test
non-public version of the site or application, or test things with a more
complicated set-up (for example, something which involves installing a
plugin or going through an unrelated workflow to get to the workflow you
want to test). The disadvantage is you have to have the screen reader
installed on your own computer and know at least the basics of how to use
it. You also have to make sure that the person on the other end uses that
screen reader as their primary screen reader, or else they might spend the
whole test stumbling about with a screen reader they're not very familiar

If you're open to unmoderated testing as an option, you can use Loop11
to test with users with disabilities. Their interface is accessibility for
keyboard-only and screen reader users. Loop11 has also partnered with
Knowbility and can help you recruit users with specific disabilities to do
testing for you. I've not used this service personally, but I hear good
things. If you don't have much experience with how people with disabilities
use websites, I would highly recommended doing moderated testing (remote or
otherwise) first.


On Thu, Mar 2, 2017 at 4:23 PM, Murray Inman (DZZEX54291) <
<EMAIL REMOVED> > wrote:

> Yes! Me too! Me too!
> [image: Rio Salado College Logo]
> [image: Rio Facebook] <https://www.facebook.com/RioSaladoCollege> [image:
> Rio Twitter] <https://twitter.com/RioSaladoOnline> [image: Rio YouTube]
> <http://www.youtube.com/user/riosaladocollege>; [image: Rio Google+]
> <https://plus.google.com/+riosalado/about>
> *Murray Inman*
> Director, Instructional Media and Technology
> Lead, Digital Accessibility Response Team
> Tel: 480-517-8561 | Fax: 480-377-4817 | <EMAIL REMOVED>
> 2323 W. 14th Street Tempe, AZ 85281 | www.riosalado.edu
> ------------------------------
> A Maricopa Community College
> Strengths: Individualization
> <http://classweb.riosalado.edu/murray.inman/StrengthsQuest/>; | Ideation
> <http://classweb.riosalado.edu/murray.inman/StrengthsQuest/>; | Relator
> <http://classweb.riosalado.edu/murray.inman/StrengthsQuest/>; |
> Connectedness
> <http://classweb.riosalado.edu/murray.inman/StrengthsQuest/>; | Input
> <http://classweb.riosalado.edu/murray.inman/StrengthsQuest/>;
> On Wed, Mar 1, 2017 at 3:08 PM, Jordan Wilson <
> wrote:
> > We're looking for more information about Remote User Testing with
> > assistive technology users. We've done limited in-person user testing
> with
> > AT users on a small scale, but our typical User Testing uses much larger
> > data sets and is typically done using Remote User Testing software. So
> far
> > we've not found an accessible remote user testing platform that can help
> us
> > scale.
> >
> > The goal of the user testing is to validate and test UX design decisions.
> >
> > How do you do AT user testing? Do recommend a particular remote user
> > testing platform that is accessible? Ideas welcome.
> >
> > I'm at CSUN so if you have a recommendation for a relevant session or
> > conversation please look me up.
> >
> > Thanks,
> > Jordan
> > @jordanwilson
> >
> >
> > > > > > > > > >
> > > > >

Caitlin Geier
User Experience Designer