Re: Automated and manual testing process

Hi everyone,

I don't particularly like the use of the phrase "manual testing". I much
prefer "expert testing", as it gets rid of this confusion, as well as of
the question of: "if I use a accessibility tool, is it still manual
testing?". I look at it similarly to how Alistair Garrison grouped it.
Although I would label it slightly different.

*1) Conformance testing:* The goal here is to see if minimal requirements
are met. This involves expert testing (or manual testing if you prefer),
and if that expert is in any way concerned about meeting deadlines, she
will be using accessibility test tools for this.

*2) Usability testing:* The goal here is to see where the best
opportunities are for improving the user experience.

Usability testing won't tell you if something meets WCAG, or at least, I've
never known any usability tests that could do that. it's a very different
kind of animal in my opinion. So I definitely have concerns about some of
the new SCs that are based on user testing.


On Mon, Jan 30, 2017 at 1:25 AM, shilpi <> wrote:

> We should specify the criteria to be met but avoid being prescriptive on
> which testing approach is to be adopted or with how many users, etc. As one
> can see numerous organization's take different approaches and yet achieve
> compliance.
> Often this is based on scale of test required, time, budgets, etc.
> The aim is to get more organization's to adopt accessibility.
> We should look at how to simplify the approaches.
> Regards
> Shilpi
> Sent from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone.
> -------- Original message --------
> From: Alastair Campbell <>
> Date: 1/30/17 02:29 (GMT+05:30)
> To: Andrew Kirkpatrick <>, WCAG <>
> Subject: Re: Automated and manual testing process
> Andrew wrote:
> > What if testing cannot be done by a single person and requires user
> testing – does that count as manual testing, or is that something different?
> We use, and I've come across quite a few variations, so to focus on the
> general ones I tend to see main methods as:
> - Automated testing, good coverage across pages or integrated with your
> development, but can't positively pass a page.
> - Manual review/audit, where an expert goes through a sample of pages
> using the guidelines. This can assess 'appropriateness' of things like alt
> text, headings,  markup and interactions (e.g. scripted events).
> - Panel review, where a group of people with disabilities assess pages
> from their point of view, with the guidelines as reference. (A couple of
> Charity based organisations offer that in the UK, but not my favoured
> methodology [1])
> - Usability testing with people with disabilities, run as a standard
> usability test but with allowances for different technologies etc. Tends to
> find the whole range of usability & accessibility issues, but coverage
> across a whole website/app is difficult.
> - Usability testing with the general public, although not accessibility
> oriented will often an overlap in issues found.
> I would stress that 'manual testing' must be by experts who have a wide
> understanding of accessibility and can balance different concerns.
> Whereas 'usability testing' must not be with people who test for a living.
> If they are expert in the domain, technology or accessibility then they are
> not typical users.
> If something 'requires' multiple testers then we need to (try to) write
> the guideline or guidance better. (Is that the question?)
> Usability is about the optimisation of an interface or experience, rather
> than barriers in the interface. I came from a Psychology & HCI background
> and started work as a Usability Consultant, I've done thousands of test
> sessions, but it is quite a different thing from testing accessibility...
> I hope that helps, but I have a feeling there is a question behind the
> question!
> -Alastair
> 1]

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

Received on Monday, 30 January 2017 12:10:00 UTC