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Costs of testing with Silver

From: Wilco Fiers <wilco.fiers@deque.com>
Date: Tue, 28 Aug 2018 12:19:42 +0200
Message-ID: <CAHVyjGOaQRtKAquECoxJ7+ZYSmmTy0kM7K1fkGUMNM+zJPY7ow@mail.gmail.com>
To: public-silver@w3.org
Hey all,

Firstly, all hats off. Sharing a personal view here. I wanted to reach out
about a thing that I've been concerned with regarding Silver. With WCAG 2.1
I saw some discussions about the increased cost of testing compared to WCAG
2.0. Thinking about the adoption of WCAG 2.0 from WCAG 1.0, there too I saw
that the amount of work it took to do accessibility testing had increased
quite significantly.

I'm concerned that (as far as I can tell) there hasn't yet been a
discussion about costs of testing with Silver. I know its still early days,
but I think that we should have that discussion, and decide what kind of
target we'd like to hit for Silver. There are all these fantastic ideas
floating around, about score cards, usability testing, expanding to include
non-web technologies. Lots of great stuff, but we have to be aware that all
of these things are going to have a price tag.

I would very much like for the Silver group to decide how much they think
the cost of doing accessibility testing is allowed to increase. Is it okay
for the costs of testing to double between WCAG 2.0 and Silver like they
did from WCAG 1.0 to 2.0? Is it allowed to increase at all? Should Silver
be designed to decrease costs instead?

Making Silver easier to use, lowering the barrier to entry, those are
fantastic goals. But those things really don't matter if someone can't get
the budget to do accessibility testing. And without testing, you can't
maintain an accessible site. I don't think it's unreasonable to think that
if Silver decreases the cost of accessibility testing, it could get wider
adoption than WCAG 2 did. Where is if the opposite happens, if testing for
Silver is far more expansive than it is for WCAG 2, that organisations
might just stick with WCAG 2 for a long time to come.

Personally, I'm of the opinion that WCAG 2 is already too expansive. When I
was still testing WCAG 1, I'd regularly test websites of smaller
organisations. Those organisations stopped coming when the costs went up
for WCAG 2. I think a good target for Silver would be that at the bronze
level, costs for testing are about half what they are for WCAG 2.0 Level
AA. I believe that that would make it affordable again for small
businesses, which I think should be a goal for Silver.

Either way, Silver needs to be designed with an eye on testing costs, and
it would help if we had some goals defined for it.

-- 
*Wilco Fiers*
Senior Accessibility Engineer - Co-facilitator WCAG-ACT - Chair Auto-WCAG

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Received on Tuesday, 28 August 2018 10:20:16 UTC

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