Usability Testing: How to Test
How to Test Your Content
Visit the NYU WCAG 2.0 Testing Standards site to get started. You will be prompted to log in with your NYU NetID and password.
Choosing pages to test
It's usually not necessary to test every page on a site. Typically, pages on a site share similar elements, such as navigation, headers, and footers. A carefully selected sample of pages can provide enough information to understand the general accessibility of a site. Your sample should include high-traffic areas, such as a Home page or entry page, as well as login pages. The rest of the samples should include a variety of content types and elements:
- a typical page with text and graphical content;
- a data table;
- a form collecting user input (including error and validation messages);
- a complex graphic, such as a chart or diagram;
- a video;
- Page features that control the display of content, such as expandable content areas or tab panels; and
- complex controls for selecting data, such as datepickers and sliders.
A sample with a variety of content elements will yield a better sense of the overall state of the site. Some elements may be on low-traffic areas of the site. However, if it was important enough to be placed on a public site, then it is important enough to be accessible to everyone.
Whenever possible, include 1 to 5 pages that are part of a user journey: a scenario of how a person interacts with the site to perform a task.
For example, a prospective student is deciding to which program they want to apply. They might do the following:
- arrive at a home page,
- locate information about a specific program or topic,
- locate contact information for a question, and
- fill out an online registration form
User journeys help highlight the usability of site as a whole. In the example, an accessibility issue at any page along the journey may prevent the user from successfully completing the desired task, e.g. - filling out an online registration form.
Common tasks on websites
- Browsing to a page giving key information for a particular audience.
- Filling in a form, submitting data and reviewing results.
- Comparing options and making a choice.
- Finding contact details in order to communicate.