Categories
Online Marketing

Accessibility Testing – Totally Tooling Tips

It’s good. Did you get a haircut? I did a haircut new accent, new new new. Look. You feel it’s good! It’s good you’re, looking better than before. You feel better than before. You’re, not mad. I am NOT no hi, I’m Rob Dodson, I’m a developer advocate on the chrome team, sure Rob just just sell, sell yourself. I mean hello and also uh you’re selling stuff, also host a little show on the chrome Developers.

Youtube blog called alley cast world-renown. Is that what we’re calling it yes well world renowned, I see people around the world have renowned it. I think, okay, all right, believe what you want to believe, but today we’re going to be talking about accessibility, audit, Angley right. What is your workflow for that? Look? Like yeah, so over here on, my laptop I’ve got a site that I’ve been working on.

This is called lifestyle. It’s got some cool like hipster photos and stuff, like that people have styles of the accessible and famous all right yeah, and what I usually do when I’m you know working on improving the accessibility of a site is, I will use the new audits panel in chrome, Dev tools, which is very very nice if you go to create a new audit, you’ll, see that you’ve got like a number of options inside of there, so you could look at PW, anus, best practices, etc.

One of the topic areas is accessibility, so you can just go run, just an accessibility audit. If you don’t, you don’t feel like doing the other tests. Here’s one that I ran against the page and it’s doing pretty. Okay right. It’s got on anyone not so bad, but there’s definitely a few issues that we need to fix and in particular one that I see a lot is, is color contrast, so you’ve got your your your foreground text.

Maybe is a little too light on the background. Color one of the nice things that we can do with the audits panel is we can actually dive in and we can see which elements specifically have failing contrast. So here I can see that I’ve got this like product card price element and if I click on that and stretch this out a little bit, you can see. It’ll take me over to my elements panel and I can actually scroll in to view the actual element that is failing just this price right, y’all, nice and it already selects the domnode for you, that’s cool, yeah, and so one of the things that’s really helpful.

Is you know really this is this? Allow me to sort of quickly identify this node, but one of the things we’re working on, which is over here in Chrome, Canary right now, is actually a color picker. That will make it a little bit easier for you to fix those contrast issues. So if you’re in something like Chrome Canary, you can go into Chrome, colon, slash, slash flags, you can look for the word: developer tools, experiments, oh you’re, in flags and experiments.

You look like to live dangerously, oh yeah, oh yeah, so dangerously, so we enable the developer tools, experiments right. We step into the future, it’ll refresh our browser for us. We can go back over here pop up in as the dev tools click on this little Settings. Menu good, where it says experiments da da and here we can see, we’ve got accessible the inspection as well as color contrast ratio line.

So let’s see what that does so we’ll go, find that same node. That was giving us problems over here. Inspect it and then we can see in our Styles panel I got a little color sread and click on that and you’ll see that there’s this little line inside of my color palettes. This is actually a sea mmmmm-hmm. This was actually telling us like. Where are our colors needs to be in order to have sufficient color contrast? So, since we’re above the line, we get this little warning that says, we’ve got a little contrast.

I happen to know that this is not like the final look for this piece of UI. It’s still being iterated on, but it’ll be something like this, where you’ve got a line and you can sort of tell which side is the good side of the bad side. So I can actually just drag this below the line. That warning goes away. You can see over here. It’s also like updating my element live in the document and it’ll sort of tell me what the good color contrast ratio is.

So I can just grab that value right off here and then go back and just fix it in my CSS. That’s pretty neat, so I was trying this out the other week and something that occurred to me was that you know if, if you use a developer, realize that the contrast is a little bit off, do you need to go back to your designers at that point, And say: well, is this okay for our brand and thing is that’s when they should be factored in earlier on in the process I ideal.

Yeah like this is there’s, there’s definitely other design tools out. There there’s, I think, there’s plug-ins for sketch, and things like that, which will also help you look at the color contrast for your designs and make sure things are not too low. Contrast, anytime, you can catch that earlier in the process, make sure all the designers are on board and all the stakeholders are on board and and that sort of like makes it easier when those things come downstream for folks to implement it, and it doesn’t kind of, Like a contentious issue or anything cool, that’s that’s awesome.

The house audit also had some other accessibility stuff in there as well right. So it had contrast. No, I was highlighting all the tributes to alt attributes, yep yep, so yeah. If we go back to that report, let’s see here so yeah a few of the things that that this site was failing. It’s missing some alt attributes. We’ve got form elements that don’t have associated labels: the big problem there is you land on a control, and maybe it says that it’s a button, but it doesn’t tell you what kind of button right is it the you know, sin my social security number to hackers Button, I don’t want to click that button right.

I want to make sure that I’m clicking the right kind of controls. I know what I’m interacting with we’ve got over. I think 32 tests, or maybe even over 35 tests in in the lighthouse accessibility checker here and under the hood. These tests are all based on a library called axe core which is made by some folks at a DQ so yeah. We we work at the axe, core library we leverage to the test from inside of it and we sort of integrated into dev tools.

You can hop around and inspect the notes. Real, quick, that’s awesome, so this is great again for locally checking on your accessibility issues. What about CI and continuously monitoring your accessibility? Is there a story for that too yeah? Absolutely so the the lighthouse library itself can be used as a standalone node module. So you can pull that into your CI process. If you want to do that or alternatively, you could use the axe core library that is powering these tests and you could use that standalone.

The the nice thing there is, you can sort of decide which accessibility tests you want to turn on or off, depending on sort of the criteria that you’re trying to meet very cool. So we’ve got lots of great tooling for accessibility, auditing. What about docks or education material? Yes, we have that as well. So if you go to developers.Google.Com/live Sunda mental, slash accessibility, we have a whole section there on getting started with accessibility for the web, and it also includes links to our Udacity course.

So that’s like a multi-week kind of hands-on experience where you actually like build stuff and read a bunch of articles and kind of get up to speed on accessibility, very cool yeah. I feel, like my lifestyle, is more accessible, already yeah cool yeah, thanks for having me today, yeah thanks for coming down awesome yeah people should check out ala cast: oh yeah, oh yeah,


 

Categories
Online Marketing

How I do an accessibility check — A11ycasts #11

So today I thought it’d be fun to go through my process for doing a simple accessibility audit a lot of times I have teammates or even like third party partners who reach out and they say hey. You know. I’ve got this site that I built, I’m not deeply familiar with accessibility, so can you give it just a once-over, and let me know if there’s any sort of like major gotchas I should be looking out for so I wanted to cover my process today.

This is not, you know, an exhaustive review or anything, but this is generally the stuff that you can do to find some obvious high level issues. So, if all the way over here to my laptop, usually the first thing that I do on any website, I’m going to use webbing as an example here, webbing is an awesome site for web accessibility. Usually one of the first things I do one on any web site is: I want to ensure that I can navigate using the tab key on my keyboard and that there are discernible focus styles, as I move around the page, so in the case of webbing, if I start tabbing through here, you’ll, actually see the first thing that it does the very first time I hit tab.

I get this thing called a skip link up here in the top left hand, corner skip links are super useful. You know on sites where you might have heavy navigation. You want to let the user skip immediately down to the main content, so webaim implements the skip link. Some other sites, like github, have skip links. If you actually go to github and hit tab, you might notice, it says, like you know, jump to your repositories or whatever so skip link is kind of a cool thing to look out for, but then, as I’m tabbing around the page, I want to make sure That I see a focus ring on different elements on the page now web aim actually does a cool thing here, where they animate their focus ring.

So you can even see it moving across the screen, which is pretty cool. They highlight their focus States. This is, you know, just about the best link, a tab focus behavior. I think I’ve ever seen really, but I just tab through the site, and I make sure that you know I can reach everything that is interactive using the tab key on my keyboard right. So that’s step one tab through your experience, so the other thing that I like to look out for is, as I’m tabbing around the page.

I want to make sure that there’s no off-screen content that can accidentally be focused so follow me over here. I’ve got this. This material design, Lite sort of like template site that the the team has created and notice that it has this sort of like sidebar over here and, as I’m focus moves into that sidebar right now. Let’s say I shrink the page a little bit right. So it’s totally possible that someone could have their browser this size on their desktop and let’s try it and tap through this now.

So I tab through this write. My focus is over here on the top left or sorry top right in that search field. Now it’s on that button. Now, as I’m pressing tab, though we don’t see the focus indicator, it’s as if it has disappeared and we keep tapping, we keep chatting and eventually it’s going to show back up. Ah did you see it down here at this? Like read more button, so what was going on there? Well, if we expand again, we can see that actually, what was happening was focus was sort of hidden in these off-screen fields was over here in our side nav, and so I see this on a lot of websites, and this can trip up.

You know anybody who’s using a keyboard to navigate and I can come trip up mobile screen readers because you have something off screen, but it’s still in the tab, water, it’s still focusable, so a screen reader might travel into those off screen elements. You know you might have dialogues off screen, you might have side nav off screen and you don’t actually want the user to be clicking on those during that current state.

So that’s another thing that I look out for. I want to make sure that people are disabling off, screen, interactive content, making sure it’s removed from the tab order. The next thing that I look for is I want to make sure that I can do kind of like a simple navigation of the page using a screen reader, so for this demo, I’m going to use the shop app by the polymer team. This is a pretty cool site that I work with that team, a lot to try and make sure that this was a good, accessible experience.

So, in the previous few episodes we covered how to use NVDA, we covered how to use voiceover on a Mac. I really recommend all web developers familiarize themselves with the basics of at least one screen reader just so they can quickly move through a page kind of like what we were doing with the tab key – and this is just sort of like a sanity check to make Sure the screen reader can actually like land on controls and they’re, announcing things that they should.

So let me turn on voiceover and all kind of like move through this page quickly, to show you what I mean by that all right. So I’m just going to use the vo Keys to kind of like quickly move through some interactive stuff visit, link, home link, shopping, cart, zero items, link where link ladies outerwear link men’s t-shirt. I might you know, try and move down to like Lane section. I want to land on an image right.

I want to make sure that that image has alt text. That’s really important a lot of websites, especially like e-commerce sites and things like that, you’ll move through and because they haven’t provided alt text for any of the images it’ll oftentimes just read like the file name for an image. So that’s another thing that I often look out for as and as I’m going through, this phase, you know, did the the person building the site use proper, alt attributes.

I also want to make sure that if there are custom controls like buttons and things like that, that have been implemented using either custom elements or using like divs with a bunch of JavaScript, that those are interactive with a screen reader. Okay, so we’re on this drop down, it says size collapsed, pop-up button. Let’s try and use voiceover to interact with this, so I’ll click on it. Okay, it’s reading me the number of items, and now I want to use just like my regular arrow keys to move around inside of this control.

So up down right, left right things like that, so go down to extra-large, hit inner right. Okay! That’s something that I look for right. Any custom control is working as I would expect with the keyboard. The other thing I know about this site is when I add something to the cart. It’s going to sort of add like a little sort of a like modal pop-up type thing that’ll show up on screen, and so I want to make sure that the screen reader user is notified of that, possibly by moving their focus into that item.

So let’s do that item added to the cart added to cart for items interact without it took our view. Cart, don’t close dialogue voiceover off, so you can see that when the item was added to the cart, the screen reader focus was directed into that thing. That just slid out on screen, so I know the way the polymer team is doing this, if I recall, is they’ve got something in there with the tabindex of negative 1 and they’re, focusing that element just to direct our focus.

So that’s another thing that I read out for making sure if, if something is being dynamically added to the page, that focus is directed to it. So that’s a quick pass that we can do with the with screen reader. The next thing that I do is I try and check the page structure, so I wan na make sure that the page is using appropriate headings and that there are appropriate, landmark roles or landmark elements on the page, because those help with screen reader navigation as well.

So, let’s look at something like Wikipedia which does a really good job of this. So I’ll turn my screen reader voiceover on Google and what I often do is I just opened the the rotor inside of voiceover in NVDA. There’s the. I think it’s called the web elements thing. I think we showed it off in the last episode. Basically, it’ll give you kind of an outline of the page in voiceover. You can open it by using a ctrl, alt or a control option you and just hitting, left and right to menu all right.

So we can see all the headings on the page. We can see that they’re doing a really good job of using. You know. H1. H2, h3, going all the way through the hierarchy of headings they’re, not just mixing and matching H tags based on like the size that they are, which I see a lot of developers do, which can generate kind of like a broken document outline for the screen reader. I want to make sure that when they’re using heading tags they’re using it to basically build the skeleton of the page, so you know we can right move through this content in a sort of a logical way.

So if I wanted to jump down to this, the section I can easily do so. The other thing that I look for again is is landmark elements. So, let’s, let’s go back and look at webbing, so webbing does a really good job of using landmark elements on their site. So again I open my web Roder. I look for landmarks and here we can see that there’s things like banner navigation search main. So if I wanted to bypass all the navigation and get right to the main content, I can do that right.

So that’s another thing I look for you know there are sites out there, which really don’t include many landmark elements at all and again, that’s sort of an efficiency feature that you can very easily add in use, use main tags, use, nav tag or use like you Know, role attributes to create those landmarks, somebody users who use screen readers can, you know, just navigate around a lot faster fashion, so that covers a focus that covers basics of screen, readers that covers headings and landmarks.

The next thing I check for is color and contrast. I want to make sure that you know if someone who might have a low vision impairment, it’s going to be able to discern the text on the page. So again, you know looking at a site like material design lite. This is a really attractive website, but there are areas where I think some of the texts could be a little low contrast and maybe a little difficult to read.

So there’s a really great Chrome extension that you can install on the Chrome Web Store. We can look for axe extension, so acts like a like a chopping axe right, so this is by DQ systems, and basically this is a simple extension that you can add to Chrome, which will sort of run an audit against the page and flag. A number of accessibility issues, but one of those is color and contrast. So on this site I can just open my dev tools after I’ve installed that audit.

You can see it’s right here in my dev tools panel, there’s this big analyze button. So I click on that and it goes through. It looks at the page and can tell me right here that there are some elements which need better contrast. So I click on that and it’ll actually give me kind of like a path to reach that element in CSS. I can actually even click on it and it’ll highlight that element in the dev tools for me.

So, in this case, for instance, this might be a little hard to see, but maybe I’ll try and boost the page. But you can tell that uh that these footer links down here right where it says right under this github logo, wears like web starter kit and help. These are low contrast texts that the audit has highlighted for me. So that’s something that we can read out for. There’s another extension: the let’s see the the chrome, accessibility, dev tools extension here we go so we’ll include a link to this as well.

It does very similar stuff to the axe extension, but one of the nice things that this extension does is when you highlight something that is low. Contrast it’ll actually give you a color suggestion, so it could be like you know. Maybe if you make the links, you know this different hex value you’ll be able to meet the what tag minimum. So, let’s see if we actually highlight these guys right here and then our dev tools, I’m going to go to where it says, accessibility, properties and see right here, lists this warning for contrast, ratio and I can actually click these color values.

And it’s very subtle, because this one’s actually like almost perfect – it’s not quite clicking these little sreades will actually change the text. Value on sites and it’ll apply an inline style for you, and that way you can see. You know what a better alternative color would be. The last thing that I try to do after I’ve done all of this is I try to recommend that you know whoever is building this site, integrate some excessive regression testing into their build process.

Again, if we go to github and we look up acts core, so this is the library that powers that axe extension, but you can also use this library as part of your build process right. So, as you’re running your automated tests, you can have a sample page. You can have axe core, look at that page and flag in accessibility audits, and you know those could then call your tests to fail. At which point you know you got to go back and you got to fix those issues.

Okay, so we we’ve covered a lot, but this is basically how I do my accessibility audits, it’s by no means exhaustive, but on many of the websites out there. This is how you’ll catch some of the major issues that folks need to work on. That can take their experience from totally broken to. You know at least sort of like a decent baseline experience for folks. If you have any questions, as always, you can leave them for me down in the comments.

Otherwise, you can contact me on a social network of your choosing, as always thank you so much for reading so yep hey. If you enjoyed this episode of alley cat, you can always catch more over in our playlist or click. The little subscribe button and you’ll get an email notification whenever we launch new stuff on the blog, as always, thanks for reading