Planning your automated accessibility testing on Sauce

Automated Accessibility Testing

Accessibility testing is similar to end-to-end functional testing but there are some special considerations:

  • While functional tests are aimed at testing all your functional permutations, accessibility tests need to test all your UI state permutations and device interactions. There is often a lot of overlap between the two but there are some differences. Keep this in mind and integrate the axe APIs into your tests in the places where your unique UI functionality is exposed.
  • Assistive technology relies on semantics and textual attributes/information that is often invisible, so leverage the testing you can do with a tool like axe DevTools Pro to automate the regression testing of this information.
  • Remember to automate all your device interaction testing like keyboard testing, including asserting that focus is maintained on the correct UI elements.

Remember that accessibility testing is the same as other forms of automation – higher investment achieves higher levels of automation, but the effort needs to be weighed against the payback. If you are releasing very often, you will want high levels of automation, whereas less frequent releases may allow for the more difficult-to-automate areas remaining a manual testing task.

Deque can help you develop your test strategy.

How to make a quick and significant impact

The payback that you can get from automated accessibility testing rises with the effort that you put in but there are some very simple steps that can make a significant impact:

  1. Integrate one of the axe APIs into your test framework to test at the end of every functional test. If your framework has an afterEach hook, this is a great place to make calls to test the end state of each functional test with very little effort.
  2. Where possible use an accessibility linter embedded into your IDE to flag issues while you code the axe VSCode extension is a great place to start.
  3. Always use a browser extension like the axe DevTools extension so you can test while you work without having to write any tests.

These three actions can help you to find 57% of your accessibility issues with very little effort.

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How Deque Can Help

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Install the axe integration within the Sauce Labs Continuous Testing Cloud.

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Catch more bugs using automated and interactive testing features right in your Chrome browser.

Install Extension accessibility training


Flag issues while you code, running axe within your IDE.

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