Accessibility Testing at Each Stage in the Project

Building accessibility into a product from the beginning is much less work than trying to add it after the product has been built. Develop a project management process that defines and tests for accessibility criteria at each stage of the project:

  • Plan: In your strategic project planning, clearly state that accessibility is a primary goal.
  • Design: In the design stage of your project, explicitly plan how you will implement accessible design in your product and the specific procedures for evaluating accessibility
  • Implement: In the implementation state, repeatedly evaluate whether the product, as parts of it are developed and assembled, complies with the planned design.
  • User tests: Have the product repeatedly evaluated by outside people using a variety of access methods (keyboard only, screen reader, color blind person, etc.) as soon as there are functioning drafts or mock-ups.
  • Evaluate: As the product nears completion, have a systematic accessibility evaluation as a key part of quality assurance.
  • Bug fixes: After the product is in production, track any fixes that are done and evaluate each for any effect it might have on accessibility. If it has negative impacts, find a better fix.