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Inclusive User Testing — Guelph Accessibility Conference


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Running tests with real users is critical for so many organizations, whether when evaluating MVPs or just as part of iterative updates. For an organization that already has embraced inclusive design, the next step is to integrate it into user testing by incorporating users with disabilities into your normal testing process. I will discuss how to plan for and execute these sessions as well as pitfalls to avoid. Ideally you will walk away with high-level understanding of where to start.

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Inclusive User Testing — Guelph Accessibility Conference

  1. 1. Inclusive User Testing Presented by Adrian Roselli (@aardrian) for Guelph Accessibility Conference. Slides from this talk will be available at
  2. 2. • I’ve written some stuff, • Member of W3C, • Building for the web since 1993, • Learn more at, • Avoid on Twitter @aardrian. Great bedtime reading! About Adrian Roselli
  3. 3. Overview • Concerns • Planning • Payment • Venue • Recruitment • Accommodation • Tech • Process • Privacy
  4. 4. CONCERNS Photo by Save the Dream, CC BY 2.0
  5. 5. Concerns • Accessibility remediation must be complete. • This is not accessibility testing. • This is not disability tourism. • Be clear on that with all stakeholders.
  6. 6. PLANNING Photo by Save the Dream, CC BY 2.0Photo by benjaminlansky, CC BY 2.0
  7. 7. Planning • Review your tests and format. • Are they structured? Informal? Remote? • How many participants are you planning? • Have you budgeted for paying participants?
  8. 8. PAYMENT Photo by Mike Mozart, CC BY 2.0
  9. 9. Payment • Expect to pay participants more than you usually do. • Additional burdens to participate: • Transportation cost, • Time off work, • May be underemployed. • Gift cards that can be accepted where they shop.
  10. 10. VENUE Photo by Chris Waits, CC BY 2.0
  11. 11. Venue • It must be accessible. • Not just the building, but the entire route. • Bus line, transport services, etc. • Meet them at the door. • Relief area for service animals.
  12. 12. RECRUITMENT Photo by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, CC BY 2.0
  13. 13. Recruitment • Now you can find participants! • Community / support organizations: • Demographics, • Name recognition, • Existing relationships, • Contextual support. • Let the organization recruit.
  14. 14. ACCOMMODATION Photo by David Luders, CC BY 2.0
  15. 15. Accommodation • Build extra time for every task. • Allow them to be late. • Service animals, canes, etc. do not play well with tripods and cables. • Service animals need a clear space under the table. • Different seating options: widths, arms, wheels, etc. • A place to park scooters, chairs, etc.
  16. 16. TECH Photo by City University Interaction Lab, CC BY 2.0
  17. 17. Tech • Use the participant’s system (or community org system). • For mobile testing, do not use mounts. • Do not mess with the user’s configuration. • If necessary to modify, ask permission for any and every change. • Return it to the way you found it when done.
  18. 18. PROCESS Photo by Eelke, CC BY 2.0
  19. 19. Process • Be prepared to read agreements, instructions, etc. aloud. • Point a camera at the user and interactions. • Drive a second monitor from device and record it. • Do not interrupt the user when using AT. • Reassure user none of the mistakes are his/her fault. • Users may apologize for finding errors.
  20. 20. PRIVACY Photo by frankieleon, CC BY 2.0
  21. 21. Privacy • Some personal health information may be revealed. • Be prepared to treat it as confidential. • Where possible, anonymize data for reporting. • Coordinate with recruiting organization.
  22. 22. Oslo Davis,
  23. 23. Inclusive User Testing Presented by Adrian Roselli (@aardrian) for Guelph Accessibility Conference. Slides from this talk will be available at