The role of UX in online surfing is heavily emphasized in the age of virtual predominance. A big chunk of our waking hours is spent on the web, making us more sensitive to flaws in UX/UI design.
We’ve all encountered websites that have poor color choices, unreadable fonts, and confusing interfaces. To average users, these are but minor inconveniences. But to people with disabilities, they mean the difference between a usable and useless website.
Why Does Web Accessibility Matter?
Web accessibility utilizes tools and technologies to provide better online experiences for people with various disabilities, including but not limited to, visual, auditory, and cognitive disorders.
By catering to this demographic, you widen your reach and build a positive image for your brand. Following WAGs (Web Accessibility Guidelines) is also good for SEO. The two concepts share many similarities, with the end goal being intuitive interfaces for all.
Accessible websites enjoy lower bounce rates and avoid complaints related to the Americans with Disabilities Act. In 2018, over 2,000 lawsuits were filed concerning web accessibility issues, which included cases against well-known brands like Domino’s Pizza.
Web Accessibility Evaluation Tools
The call for web accessibility is only growing, and it is in the best interest of your digital products to comply with WAGs.
We have an entire blog that tackles simple ways you can make your website more accessible. For this post, we’re going to talk about 7 web accessibility checkers and tools to ensure you’re on the right track.
1. COMPLYFirst Professional
COMPLYFirst Professional is a desktop application for web accessibility testing. It covers all aspects of Section 508 Standard 1194.22, WAI-ARIA, and WCAG 2.0 for Automated and Manual DOM interfaces.
You can schedule tests for single web pages, groups of web pages, groups of websites, and password-protected pages to ensure they’re always up to standards. Results from its automated scans can be exported into its built-in manual testing tool for further analysis.
Testing activities and reports are compiled in a tamper-resistant database for future reference. In terms of solutions, COMPLYFirst Professional provides clear instructions and code samples to fix errors as soon as possible.
OzART is a comprehensive accessibility checker that claims to detect errors and potential weak spots that other tools miss. It points out technical lapses as well as ambiguous elements that need manual testing.
Unlike other web accessibility tools, OzART can tell the difference between templates and unique content, meaning it won’t report problems with template elements multiple times.
Its findings are presented in layers, starting with a quick overview of passes and errors. Its in-depth report cites the exact code or element that is not compliant with WCAG 2. As such, there’s no need to jump back and forth from the tool to your website.
3. Accessibility Checker by CKSource
Accessibility Checker offers real-time feedback as you work on your content. It resolves common accessibility issues automatically, minimizing speedbumps as you move toward project completion.
Big brands like Philips, Microsoft, IBM, and Volvo use this tool to avoid lawsuits and expand their consumer base.
The tool itself is well-designed in assisting users with special needs. It supports screen readers, renders pages in high contrast, and can operate using only keyboard inputs.
4. ARIA Validator for Chrome
ARIA Validator by RickBrown is an extension for Google Chrome with over 2,000 users. It scans web pages to detect WAI-ARIA implementation issues for free.
The extension appears as a button on top of the web browser, which you can click on to evaluate the page you’re viewing. It also detects duplicate IDs in your HTML. This is important to prevent invalid markups that cause screen readers to skip some parts of your website.
Note that this tool cannot detect all accessibility issues and only scans one page at a time. We recommend using ARIA Validator in addition to more comprehensive web accessibility checkers to determine your WAG compliance level.
5. Bulk Accessibility Checker
Bulk Accessibility Checker is developed by EXPERTE. It’s a free web-based tool that crawls and evaluates an entire website with a single click.
EXPERTE designed the checker to assess 41 features related to web accessibility. This includes navigation, ARIA implementation, contrast, graphics, localization, and internationalization.
For example, it flags web pages that do not meet the standard contrast ratio or those that contain heading elements that do not follow a logical order.
All you need to do is to enter your URL to run the test. Buk Accessibility Checker generates a score for each of your web pages and gives a detailed report on what you could have done better.
6. Color Oracle
Color Oracle is a color blindness simulator for Windows, Mac, and Linux. It applies a color filter to your screen so you can view what your designs look like to users with visual impairments.
Its preset themes simulate Deuteranopia (complete inability to distinguish colors), Protanopia (inability to perceive red), Tritanopia (inability to differentiate blue and yellow), and Grayscale.
Integrating this tool into your workflow is easy since it operates independently of other software. You can enable Color Oracle while working on a graphics manipulation software, as well as when you’re inspecting everything as a whole on your wireframe.
Silktide is a trusted platform that finds and fixes accessibility issues on desktop and mobile devices. Some of its most recognizable clients include eBay and NHS.
Its number one selling point is efficiency. Silktide features automated web accessibility testing based on WCAG 2.1. The tool notifies users of compliance issues in order of priority and recommends manual auditing whenever necessary.
Silktide’s reports are very comprehensive, yet easy to digest, allowing lay users to appreciate advanced accessibility concerns. Moreover, Silktide provides detailed how-to’s and support to improve your design.
Improve Your Website with the Best Web Design Agency
Attract new customers and avoid litigation issues when you work with a team of professional web developers and designers. We know all the best practices in web development and design to help your brand reach its targets. Contact DevWerkz today.