With an estimated 400 million disabled people surfing the internet on a daily basis, it becomes increasingly important to test all websites and apps for complete usability. The matter becomes even more important if you run or are about to launch an e-commerce website, which depends on flawless usability to convert visitors into buyers.

Online shopping, or simply browsing the world wide web, can be a frustrating experience for people like Norin Khanna, a visually impaired member of the PfR community. According to his experience, only “30 to 40 percent of websites are truly accessible”.

“Sometimes I shop online, but most websites are not ready” for disabled users, Norin admits. He regularly struggles with simple things like CAPTCHA codes and SMS verification, elements that are often added to websites to increase online security and avoid bots. Finding contact details and filling out contact forms is a familiar struggle, as well.

Test everything

“It’s really important to test everything” from the point of view of a person with disability, Norin says. Designers and developers “don’t know what we face when we use their products or devices, they don’t know how we feel and the sort of difficulties we encounter”.

When testing your website or app, you need to address all issues like visual or motor impairment, hearing difficulties, potential seizures caused by visual strobe or flashing effects, and cognitive and intellectual disabilities.

For instance, underlining links will surely make the lives of colour blind people much easier, while coding your website with semantically meaningful HTML will help visually impaired people who use screen reading software – two simple rules that developers and designers sometimes forget. This is why testing for accessibility is an essential part of the process.

If you would like to find out more about accessibility testing and how we can help you find the perfect users to take part in usability testing, email or call 0117 921 0008.

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About the author: Maria Santos is the Digital Marketing Manager at People for Research. You can find her on the People for Research’s Facebook or Twitter accounts, regularly engaging with potential participants, market research experts and the UX community.

About People for Research: We recruit participants for UX and usability testing and market research. We work with award winning UX agencies across the UK and partner with a number of end clients who are leading the way with in-house user experience and insight.