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Just Ask: Integrating Accessibility Throughout Design

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Accessibility in User-Centered Design: Usability Testing Checklist

This checklist is part of the book Just Ask: Integrating Accessibility Throughout Design, which is available online at www.uiAccess.com/JustAsk

This checklist is not intended to stand alone; rather, it's designed as a reminder of what is said throughout the book Just Ask. From the online version of this checklist at www.uiAccess.com/accessucd/ut_checklist.html the linked headings go to that section of the book online.

Planning for Usability Testing

Determining Participant Characteristics

  Identify a realistic range of participants

Recruiting Participants

  Plan for additional recruiting.
  Make key contacts to find people with disabilities.
  Consider pilot tests as a recruiting tool.
  Add relevant information to your recruiting screener.
  Arrange for interpreters as needed.
  Plan to reimburse participants for necessary expenses.

Choosing the Best Location

  Consider the goals of the usability test.
  Consider assistive technology needs.
  Take into account transportation.
  Evaluate the accessibility of potential locations.

Scheduling the Right Amount of Time

  Use pilot tests to work out timing.
  Plan time based on specific disability considerations.
  Be aware of energy level considerations.
  Schedule time to confirm assistive technology setup.
  Plan time for the participant to become familiar with the product.

Preparing for Usability Testing

Ensuring the Facility is Accessible

  Use a checklist to ensure that you've anticipated any potential barriers.
  Schedule a walkthrough by a person with similar accessibility needs.
  Provide enough space.

Preparing Test Materials

  Write usability test materials in clear and simple language.
  Be prepared to provide all materials in alternative formats.
  Include alternate format questions in the recruiting screener.
  Send consent forms and other documents ahead of time.
  Provide consent forms and other documents for interpreters and attendants.
  Send materials to interpreters ahead of time.

Setting Up and Testing the Participants' Configurations

  Acquire, set up, and test the assistive technologies to the participants' configurations.

Becoming Familiar with the Assistive Technology

  Get experience with the assistive technology as appropriate.

Conducting Pilot Testing

  Conduct pilot tests early.
  Use pilot tests for recruiting.
  Use pilot tests to work out timing.
  Use pilot tests to work out issues with assistive technologies.
  Use pilot tests to work out logistics.
  Use pilot tests to work out facilitation.

Conducting a Usability Test for Accessibility

See Interacting with People with Disabilities for guidance on avoiding assumptions, asking before helping, talking to and about people with disabilities, and more.

Note: Some of the considerations might or might not apply to a given usability test, depending on the participants, the product, and other parameters. The Recruiting Screener in the next section lists questions to ask to find out which considerations apply based on participant needs.

Setting Up the Room

  Check that the area is clear.

Specific considerations for some participants who are blind or visually impaired

  Don't move anything without asking first.
  Record screen reader audio output.
  Watch the keyboard.
  Adjust video for wide-angle capture.
  Take speakers and lights.

Specific considerations for some participants who are deaf or hearing impaired

  Arrange seating for an interpreter.
  Position seating for a direct line of sight.
  Be sure the room is well-lit.
  Record both participant and interpreter audio.

Specific considerations for some participants who have physical impairments

  Allow enough room for a wheelchair.

Orienting the Participant

  Encourage the participant to become familiar with the setup.

Specific considerations for some participants who are blind or visually impaired

  Introduce yourself and others.
  Describe the setting to the participant.
  Explain unusual noises and your activities.
  Offer your elbow to lead the participant.
  Give directions about where to be seated.
  Don't interact with a guide dog or service animal.
  Tell the participant where there is room for the guide dog.

Specific considerations for some participants who are deaf or hearing impaired

  Get the participant's attention before starting a conversation.
  Take turns talking.
  Be very clear that an interpreter should repeat just what you say.

Specific considerations for some participants with physical impairments

  Don't move mobility aids.
  Remember seating for a personal attendant.

Completing Paperwork

Specific considerations for some participants who are blind or visually impaired

  Provide documents in the participant's preferred format.
  Be prepared to indicate the place for signature.

Specific considerations for some participants with physical impairments

  Have a clipboard available to hold documents to be signed.

Completing the Tasks

  Be prepared to use alternative techniques for facilitating.

Specific considerations for some participants who are blind or visually impaired

  Request screen reader speech rate according to usability test protocol.

Specific considerations for some participants who are deaf or hard of hearing

  Face the participant while speaking, and speak at eye level.
  Speak clearly.
  Try rewording what you are saying.
  Offer to write down what you are saying.
  Move closer to the participant.

Collecting Data

  Consider debriefing after each task instead of after the entire test.

Specific considerations for some participants with speech impairments

  Listen carefully, and ask the participant to repeat for clarification if needed.
  Be prepared to offer to use written communication.
  Be very clear that an attendant should repeat exactly what the participant said.

Specific considerations for some participants who are deaf or hard of hearing

  Be very clear that an interpreter should repeat just what the participant signs.

Providing Compensation

Specific considerations for some participants who are blind or visually impaired

  State what the currency is as you hand it to the participant, if you are paying in cash.
  Verify the spelling of the participant's name, if you are paying by check.

Reporting Usability Testing

Distinguish Between Accessibility and Usability Issues

  Understand the difference between accessibility and general usability.
  Distinguish between usability and accessibility issues, as appropriate.

Including Relevant Study Parameters

  Include relevant study details.
  Include relevant participant characteristics in the report, and don't include irrelevant participant information.

Being Careful about Categorizations and Comparisons

  Confirm that any categorizations are appropriate and useful.
  Confirm that any comparisons are appropriate and useful.

Clarifying Conclusions

  Clearly indicate what the report asserts and what it does not assert.

Writing about People with Disabilities

  Use appropriate language to refer to people with and without disabilities.

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