Everything You Need to Know About AudioEye’s Active Monitoring and Issue Reporting
This is the third part of a three-part series on AudioEye’s solutions. Read part one: Everything You Need to Know About AudioEye’s Auto Remediations and part two: Everything You Need to Know About AudioEye’s Manual Testing and Remediation.
In our posts on AudioEye’s automated remediations and manual testing and remediation, we discussed how our hybrid approach pairs automated technology with human expertise to fix web accessibility issues on an ongoing basis. In this post, we cover Active Monitoring – a critical piece of AudioEye’s solution that allows for ongoing accessibility.
More specifically, we’ll take a closer look at AudioEye’s automated testing technology and Issue Reporting dashboard, which provides full visibility into a site’s accessibility issues, fixes, and details on solving issues that require human support.
Why Is Accessibility Testing Important?
The goal of digital accessibility is to create content that is consumable by the widest possible set of people, regardless of their abilities. Following the W3C’s Website Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), made up of more than 70 success criteria, is considered best practice for ensuring content is accessible to users with disabilities. Additionally, conforming to WCAG is required under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other accessibility laws and regulations.
If you built your website once and never touched it again, you could just test its accessibility once and be confident that — at least until the next update of the WCAG standards — your site would be accessible and meet the legal standards. But the reality is most websites change every day, and any additions to your site — whether it’s user-generated content, a new sign-up form, or a plugin — can compromise its accessibility. Every time you make an update, no matter how small, there’s a chance that you’ll create an accessibility problem without even realizing it. Therefore, you need to keep testing your website for accessibility, just as you need to keep updating your website content to maintain its relevance and usefulness.
Different Types of Accessibility Testing
The most accurate way to monitor accessibility is to manually review each page and painstakingly fix every problem in the source code. However, manual testing only provides a point-in-time snapshot of a website and doesn’t replicate the actual way in which visitors using assistive technology navigate online. While large and enterprise-level organizations can afford frequent manual testing, it’s too expensive and unsustainable for most small- to medium-sized businesses.
This is where automated technology makes a big difference, as it can take on much of the heavy lifting of testing. Accessibility testing technology, such as AudioEye’s Website Accessibility Checker, can scan a website’s code against accessibility standards (WCAG) to find common accessibility errors and deliver an accessibility report. The tool can scan an entire website in seconds, providing almost immediate feedback on the number and severity of accessibility errors.
AudioEye provides both automated and manual testing as part of the Active Monitoring, to ensure continuous accessibility coverage.
How Active Monitoring at AudioEye Works
Every time a visitor loads a new page on a website that uses AudioEye, Active Monitoring is deployed. The software tests for new accessibility issues, gathering information across all users and pages of a website, then deploys automated remediations. Our technology can find about 70% of common accessibility issues, using 400+ testing outcomes, and resolve about two-thirds of them with our suite of more than 70 automated remediations.
Unlike other accessibility solutions on the market today, AudioEye’s technology tests a website for new accessibility issues with each new visitor, maintaining a real-time representation of a website’s accessibility. Our patent-pending monitoring:
- Follows the navigation of every user on your site, refreshing with each page they visit.
- Securely monitors behind logins and paywalls.
- Reviews dynamic content as your visitors experience it.
- Naturally focuses on the pages that are most visited by your users.
- Tracks and reports on issues that automated remediation fixes in real time.
- Indicates complex issues for manual review and remediation.
- Respects privacy by only collecting test results, not user data.
Active Monitoring tests the parts of a website that are behind a login or paywall screen, which may not be visible to traditional automated testing tools. We also test dynamic content that may look different to different people, something that may not be replicable with manual testing.
The Issue Reporting Dashboard
AudioEye’s Active Monitoring gathers rich information across all users and all pages — the kind of data you can’t get from a one-time full scan of a site. That information is relayed to customers via Issue Reporting in a centralized, user-friendly dashboard.
Issue Reporting gives customers a real-time, granular understanding of the accessibility issues on their website that were found, fixed, or flagged by AudioEye’s technology for human review and intervention. No technical expertise is required to understand the information displayed in the dashboard. The dashboard provides detailed instructions to guide users through fixing accessibility errors that automation cannot yet solve. For each accessibility problem uncovered, Issue Reporting gives AudioEye users the following insights:
- Issue Description: A full description, including how it impacts end users.
Example: Text size is too small - Text needs to be large enough to be legible. When text is too small, it's difficult to read easily. People might overlook important information, or may have eye strain trying to read it.
- Abilities Affected: Insights on which abilities are most impacted (visual, auditory, motor, and cognitive).
Example: Vision - This issue primarily affects users with vision impairment.
- Impact: The issue’s impact on end users, the severity of the issue, and the frequency of the issue.
Example: This is a high impact issue. It may block some users with disabilities from taking an action, or navigating through the site. 10 instances of this issue were counted across 1 page.
- Resolution: A full report on how the issue has been fixed entirely, partially, or whether it requires a custom/source fix.
Example: AudioEye alleviates this issue by providing site visitors with a Usability Toolbar. The Toolbar enables users to modify their visual experience of a webpage, as well as aids in navigation. Note that AudioEye will never permanently alter a website’s brand identity, visual styling or use of animation.
- Compliance: The WCAG compliance category that the issue falls under, with a link to the WCAG documentation for that category.
Example: WCAG SC 1.4.4 Resize text
- How to Fix at Source: Details on how to repair the issue in the source code.
Example: Use a scalable unit, such as rem or em for text size. If users enlarge their browser text, then scalable text will zoom appropriately. For the page's main text, make font-size at least 1.0 rem/em. For supplementary information, such as copyright information, use at least 0.75 rem/em.
- Pages Affected: A list of pages where the issue was found.
How Active Monitoring and Manual Testing Work Together
Reports from Active Monitoring help guide AudioEye’s manual testers for maximum effectiveness, while manual testing uncovers patterns that we use to continuously improve automated remediations and testing. When Active Monitoring reveals accessibility issues that require human intervention, AudioEye recommends manual testing and remediation to properly diagnose and fix them.
The combination of Active Monitoring and manual testing provides the best of both worlds: a fast, low-cost way of detecting and resolving the majority of emerging accessibility problems as your website changes, plus an option for expert testing and remediation of more complex issues that require human judgment.
Achieving the Fullest Possible Coverage
Without testing, it’s impossible to guarantee a website meets accessibility standards or offers an accessible experience for people with disabilities. Unlike any other accessibility solution, Active Monitoring provides testing and automated fixes for every website visitor, on every page. To provide visibility into our process, Issue Reporting displays the accessibility errors uncovered by Active Monitoring, showing users where automated remediations are deployed and equipping them to fix the accessibility issues that our technology cannot yet fix. The combination of technology backed by people provides wide and reliable coverage, offering a sustainable and reliable accessibility solution for businesses of all sizes.
To learn about the state of digital accessibility and AudioEye's innovative approach to helping businesses make their sites accessible, download Building for Digital Accessibility at Scale white paper.
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