TPG Audit Service
TPG audits are detailed standards based tests on thick and thin client applications and web sites. Each audit is carried out by a team of experienced consultants using the TPG test scripts and processes. The audits are manual; they do not involve automated tools or crawlers. Since the majority of accessibility checks require human judgement this kind of expert analysis is the only way to ensure that testing is thorough and results are accurate. The process involves five steps.
- Auditing Q/A
- Report development
- Report presentation
Since the audit involves manual testing, it is often not possible to test every screen in an application, or every page in a web site, in a reasonable time frame and cost. In addition, most screens in an application share common components and layouts so there are diminishing returns in testing every single screen. For this reason TPG work with the client to capture a fully representative sampling of the system under test. This process has been carefully developed over the years to ensure that no essential elements are left out. The process is as follows:
- Client development team provide a walkthough of the web site or software and to identify templates, unique interface items and controls that should be included, as a minimum, in the sampling.
- TPG examines the system and edits the sampling based on findings.
- TPG and the client agree a final list of screens to include in the test.
- TPG provides a Test Design document listing, with screenshots, all the screens and components to be tested and why they have been chosen along with details of the test procedure, tools used etc.
- TPG present and discuss the format of the final report that will be the main output of the audit.
Once the test design is complete the TPG team carry out a detailed analysis of the sampled screens and components. The test process includes manual testing against each criterion in the chosen standard/s. The test process includes testing with Assistive Technology including, as a minimum:
- JAWS and Window Eyes screen readers.
- ZoomText screen magnifier.
- Keyboard only testing.
- Dragon Naturally Speaking.
These represent the major and most popular assistive technologies but TPG have wide experience with all ATs and can include testing with any of these products in the test design. TPG also utilize testing tools such as the Web Accessibility Toolbar and Inspect32 to analyze the level of information being conveyed to assistive technology.
The primary focus of the TPG accessibility audit is standards compliance but testing also examines usability for people with disabilities and test designs often include processes, such as the completion of a purchase on an ecommerce web site, which are followed using AT and usability issues reported.
During testing screenshots are taken of problem areas and used in reporting to the client.
TPG develop two levels of reports based on audit findings.
- Audit report spreadsheet.
- Common Issues report.
The audit report provides screen-by-screen results on standard’s compliance. Each screen has a column in the spreadsheet and each row is a criterion from the tested standards. This report gives a good overview of the number of issues found and where they occurred. The report also includes a User Issue worksheet, which reports from a fixed list of usability issues for each screen under test.
The aim of this report is to pinpoint where and how often issues occur and for quick reference.
The Common Issues report provides detail on each common or unique issue found in the system. This gives the client team the detail needed to properly understand the issues and also direct instructions on how to fix issues. The report includes screenshot samples of where problems occur and code samples or links to worked solutions that will help the client team when they come to implementing the findings of the report.
In the Common Issues report each issue is linked to the relevant standards and to relevant best practice resources.
Other reporting approaches
Though this is the standard report format for TPG audits, it may be more efficient to report issues in another to the client, such as direct entries in a bug tracking system. TPG can tailor the report to the needs of the client management and development team and the final reporting format can be agreed during the design phase of the project.
When the client has had some time to read and discuss the report, the TPG team present the findings to development teams and management, as required. The presentation explains how to use the report findings, explores the findings item –by-item and gives the client a forum to ask questions and clarify issues.
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