Currently, social networks are an essential part of our lives. Most of us have Facebook, Instagram, or Whatsapp accounts. But how do you go about testing the accessibility of a social network to make sure everyone has access to it?
The WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) 2.0 supplant the WCAG 1.0 and is organized differently. It describes ways to make web pages available with the help of existing technology without sacrificing the design or necessary flexibility for information to be accessible under different situations. It also provides methods that can help transform websites into valuable and understandable pages.
According to a short interview with a person with a disability, he states his preference for fewer ads on social networks, less information loading, and fewer steps to access certain functions on the site.
A good guideline for testing social network accessibility should make sure that:
- Chats are accessible
- Headings are organized, and their hierarchy is clear
- Links do not provide cyclical navigation since it makes some of the content difficult to reach
- There is no unhelpful information or images that make browsing tricky and slow
- There are no ambiguous links
- There are no redundant information and links
- A few useful features are read as plain text instead of a button, link, or label titles (for example, the ‘comment’ function on Facebook)
- There are no difficulties in finding friends when name matching occurs
- New versions should not update the entire page
It is important to remember that social networks should be accessible for all and provide the best user experience possible. As testers, we must not sacrifice accessibility on websites.
When web development finishes and before publishing, it is advisable to carry out user testing with people who are not familiar with the site and consider the results. For example, if they can find the buttons quickly or position themselves on the site with ease. This helps to detect and correct possible errors before the website goes live