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Accessibility testing - Essay Example

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Summary
The Society for Petroleum Engineers (SPE) is one of the largest member organizations that serve professionals from the global oil and gas industry. The association organizes many events, seminars and programs to improve the skills of individuals employed within this industry. …
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Accessibility testing
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Accessibility testing

The society also helps researchers and engineers to contribute their findings and experiences through similar opportunities. An accessibility test was performed on the society’s website (www.spe.org) to determine the site’s usability across a number of parameters and to evaluate whether the site was accessible to people with various abilities. Some of the core criteria that were used to perform this test included site design, content and functionality. All test cases were constructed on the basis of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). The purpose of testing the accessibility for the website is to perform a conformance evaluation of the site to determine whether the site meets industry guidelines such as the WCAG. While the site can be evaluated using automatic and semi-automatic testing tools like HTML Validation service or WAVE (Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool), it was decided to perform a manual evaluation of the website.
The purpose of the manual method is to evaluate a webpage based on a list of checkpoints or criteria as specified under WCAG 1.0. The W3C recommends the use of a Graphical User Interface (GUI) to evaluate a sample of web pages. For the purpose of this project, two different web browsers, namely Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) and Google Chrome (GC), served as the GUI for the accessibility tests. The following tests were performed to evaluate the website’s conformance to the WCAG (W3C, 2011): 1. Image test: Turned off the images and checked whether the alternate text was available. Method: (in IE) Tools ? Internet Options ? Advanced ? Uncheck ‘Show Pictures’. (In GC) Options ?under the Hood ? click ‘Content Settings’ under the Privacy tab ? select ‘Do not show any images’ under the ‘Images’ tab. 2. Sound test: Turned off the sound and checked whether the audio information was available through other alternatives like text or images. Method: Open Volume from quick tray, click ‘Mixer’ and click on ‘Mute Speakers’ 3. Font test: Changed the font size of the text on the various controls in the webpage and evaluated if the site was still usable for larger font sizes. Method: Hold CTRL key and move the mouse wheel up or down to increase or decrease the font size respectively. 4. Resolution test: Tested the pages under various screen resolutions to determine whether any scrolling was required to navigate across the web page. Method: On Windows 7 machines, click ‘Show Desktop’ icon, right click on any part of the screen and select ‘Screen Resolution’. Modify the screen resolution in the resulting dialog. 5. Color contrast test: Changed the screen color to Grayscale and determined whether the color contrast in the web page was still sufficient. Method: Open ‘Calibrate Display Color’ from the Control panel and change color settings in the fields provided. 6. Keyboard accessibility test: Attempted to navigate across the page controls using the keyboard (especially using the TAB key) alone. Determined if the site was navigable without the use of a mouse. Method: load the webpage and use the keyboard for all navigation and interaction with the webpage. 7. Backend Content test: Disabled all style sheets, scripts and applets and evaluated whether the site was working as expected. Method: (in IE) Tools ? Security ? click ‘Internet’ in the zone section ? click ‘Custom Level’ ? Scroll down to ‘Scripting’ ? disable ‘Active Scripting’. (In GC) Options ?under the Hood ? click ‘Content Settings’ under the Privacy tab ? select ‘Do not allow any site to run JavaScript’ under the ‘JavaScript’ tab. Results The following table summarizes the results for the ... Read More
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