Difference between Usability and Accessibility Testing?

Usability testing is focused on evaluating the value of a software product or application from a user’s standpoint. The user-friendliness of the software product or application is ascertained and upon that feedback is obtained from users. Based on the feedback provided, further modifications are done by the team in order to make it more user-friendly.

Accessibility testing is focused on the extent to which a website is accessible and it also focuses upon making the website or application disabled- friendly. In this article, you will get to know what are the differences between usability and accessibility testing.


What is Usability testing?

It is a testing method where the functionality of an application or website is tested by real users. The objective of this testing method is to uncover issues pertaining to user experience and usability by obtaining feedback from users.

Following are a few key points that are taken into consideration for performing the testing activity:

  • The main actions pertaining to a site’s functionality are worked and analysed upon in order to not get confused
  • Usability issues and bugs are identified and fixed
  • The functional aspects of a website or application should be efficient enough
  • Other usability problems should also be identified and fixed.

The above mentioned points need to be carefully scrutinized by the testing and designing team in order to make a user-friendly software product. It is also known as User Experience (UX) testing. The software product or application’s flexibility and ease of use are also given due consideration in this testing method.


What is Accessibility testing?

This testing method ensures that a specific website or application can be accessed by anyone including people with disabilities. Information is collected to make the application usable by people with disabilities. It also focuses on making the internet facility available to societies, business and individuals across geographical regions.

Assistive technologies such as special keyboard, screen magnification software, screen reader software and speech recognition software can be incorporated into accessibility testing. Accessibility testing ensures that a specific website or application is built in a disabled-friendly manner. Any issues pertaining to accessibility should be tackled and solved by the testing team.

Differences between usability testing and accessibility testing:

Usability testing Accessibility testing
This testing method ensures that a website is easy and intuitive to use Accessibility testing focuses on making a website accessible to disabled people
The user-friendliness of the software application or product is verified using this testing method The extent of accessibility that a website can provide is measured using this testing method
Usability issues are identified and fixed in order to deliver seamless user experience Accessibility testing is performed in accordance with WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) and thus accessibility of a website or application is strategically analyzed
The four elements that are focused upon are flexibility, learnability, functionality and industrial design The four principles that are focused upon are robustness, understandable, operable and perceivable
Optimizely, Crazy Egg, Userlytics, Qualaroo, Usabilla, UserFeel are some of  the key tools that are used in this testing method Google Lighthouse, Wave, Dynomapper, Accessibility checker, Axe Chrome plugin are some of the key tools that are used in this testing method
Real users are involved to test the product and evaluate as to what extent the software product or application is user-friendly The website code is reviewed and then matched with the WCAG guidelines. Knowledge of CSS, HTML and JavaScript are required



If you are looking forward to implementing usability testing or accessibility testing services for your specific project, then do get connected with a premium software testing services company that will provide you with pragmatic testing strategies that are in line with your project specific requirements.


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About the Author

Ronan Healy

Hi everyone. I'm part of the EuroSTAR team. I'm here to help you engage with the EuroSTAR Huddle Community and get the best out of your membership. Together with software testing experts, we have a range of webinars and eBooks for you to enjoy and we have lots of opportunities for you to come together online. If you have any thoughts about the community, please get in contact with me.
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