WebAIM: Rocket Surgery and Accessibility User Testing

Rocket Surgery and Accessibility User Testing

When people ask us about accessibility user testing, we usually say, “Don’t do it.” Instead, usability testing with users with disabilities is almost always more effective.

Rocket Surgery Made Easy

I spoke at the Plain Talk conference last week where I heard presentations on usability testing from Steve Krug and Nicole Burton. Steve’s book, Rocket Surgery Made Easy, proposes a basic approach to usability testing wherein frequent (probably monthly), simple usability evaluation sessions are conducted with three average users. A facilitator asks questions and presents tasks to help the user identify the few most significant usability issues, which are then (hopefully) fixed before the next test session.

The power of the Rocket Surgery approach to usability testing is that it focuses on the broad user experience. Accessibility user testing typically does just the opposite. It is used to identify instances of inaccessibility – poor alt text here and a missing label there. Fixing all significant instances of inaccessibility and non-compliance still might result in a poor experience for users with disabilities – something often a result of the entire site content/interaction or a combination of [...]

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