Testing Circle Case Study

Accessibility testing of customer facing websites

Testing Circle LogoTesting Circle are a leading IT recruitment and testing consultancy who work with leading Finance, Retail and other FTSE 100 clients.

Testing Circle asked Graham Armfield of Coolfields Consulting to organise and carry out a series of extensive accessibility reviews for one of their large financial clients. The reviews encompassed a number of different customer facing websites – including information sites to allow customers to choose and apply for financial products, and an online management website that allowed customers to check statements, review transactions, and update their personal details.

The accessibility testing was to be carried out against the WCAG 2.0 accessibility guidelines which help specify best practices that enable websites to be accessed by those with disabilities or impairments – such as blindness or motor impairments.

Planning the accessibility tests

Given the extensive nature of the websites involved, it was important to tightly define the scope of which pages and functional areas within the site that were to be tested, and when. It was felt to be important to cover every single type of page within the sites (content, application forms, transaction tables, help facilities, etc) , rather than every single page. A series of ‘user journeys’ were developed to highlight the areas of the site with highest priority.

We also discussed the test completion reports. The company opted to receive the most detailed reports that we offer, which contain the following:

  • An overall pass/fail for each of the websites tested.
  • A pass/fail grade against each of the WCAG2.0 accessibility guidelines.
  • List of locations where each accessibility issue was found, and the necessary test conditions required to replicate them.
  • Recommended solutions for each of the accessibility issues found – including coding solutions where appropriate.

Once the scope of the tests was agreed with the management from the financial company, the full timetable for the tests and the associated costs were set in place.

Performing the accessibility tests

Using the accessibility experience that Graham Armfield has built up over the years, the tests were carried out using a number of tools, including screen readers and other assistive technology as used by those with disabilities or impairments.

The reports were compiled from the raw testing results, and were presented to the company management.

Follow ups

After the reports had been presented to the company, a number of follow up sessions were arranged. Graham Armfield met with IT managers from the company to discuss the findings and answer any questions that came up. Graham also set up and ran a workshop with the team of developers to discuss the report findings in more technical detail, to enable them to fully understand the accessibility issues found.

Graham also wrote a 40 page accessibility guidelines document for the developers. This document contained a series of best practices and useful techniques to ensure optimum accessibility of websites and web applications.

Client satisfaction

From feedback at the various meetings and emails via Testing Circle afterwards it was obvious that the management at the financial company were very pleased with the overall accessibility testing provided. Although accessibility issues were found, the reports made clear technical recommendations as to how each of the issues found could be overcome. The developers stated that the accessibility guidelines document and the workshop were extremely useful, and that they felt that had the knowledge to fix the accessibility issues found, and to develop more accessible functionality in the future.


If you’d like to talk more about accessibility testing and how it could benefit your company please contact us today.

Share this page (Links open new windows/tabs)

  • Share this page on LinkedIn (opens new window)
  • Share this page on Delicious (opens new window)
  • Share this page on Digg (opens new window)
  • Share this page on Posterous (opens new window)
  • Share this page on Reddit (opens new window)