Jonathan Fournier, Mobile Test Lead at VMC, discusses the value and scope of Accessibility Testing for mobile games and apps.
The World Health Organization estimates that 15% of the world population lives with some form of disability. This is a significant demographic of mobile device users, making accessibility an important factor in mobile game and app design. Mobile tech giants like Apple and Samsung already see the value in making sure their devices are inclusive, adding an impressive and growing array of accessibility features to their devices over the years. It would benefit mobile game and app developers to bolster this trend by considering accessibility during the development of their products.
At VMC, we’ve put great effort into identifying how games and apps can be optimized in terms of accessibility. As part of our full range of QA services, we offer developers focused accessibility testing as a service, examining games and apps with attention to the following factors:
Limited Vision (including Color Perception)
Are text and images as clear as they can be? Is the color contrast suitable? Are there audio cues to help users along? Does the app interact well with text-to-speech apps or hardware?
Are the audio elements of your app mixed well? Is the volume acceptable? Is there anything important missed if the user opts to play with no sound? Does the app connect to external speakers, hearing aid, etc.?
Limited Vocal Capacity
If you allow voice prompts from users, are there alternative ways to give input? Does the app work with external mics or text-to-speech apps/hardware?
How dependent is your app on actions like repeated tapping, holding a finger to the screen for long periods or overly precise swiping? Does your app allow for external controls or iOS/Android’s sensitivity options to be used in a beneficial way?
Is all text provided straightforward? Is it clear what buttons and actions will do? Is too much information provided at one time? Is there a clear Help menu?
Certainly, not every app can be optimized for every form of disability – it’s expected that a karaoke app wouldn’t be optimized for someone with limited vocal capabilities, and that a music app wouldn’t be optimized for someone with a hearing impairment. But for many game and app developers, accessibility testing is an opportunity to make your product more inclusive and extend its appeal to a much wider audience.
To learn more about VMC’s Accessibility Testing, as well as our other mobile QA services, contact us.