About Team Usability
People with disabilities often experience difficulties in accessing work-related information and communication (ICT) services, such as web applications, desktop software or apps. The specific ways in which disabled people use the system (e.g. using a screen reader, zoom magnification, voice input, external keyboard or switch control) cause very different problems. The shortcomings frequently concern both the accessibility and the actual usability of ICT offerings. Both aspects, accessibility and usability, are equally important to enable people with disabilities to participate fully in working life.
The Team Usability project develops two methods for people with disabilities to test, as part of a team, the usability and accessibility of services. A test team consisting of people with different abilities will be formed to help design and evaluate the procedures. The project develops suitable workflows and supporting instruments.
- The usability test departs from task-based common usability tests with average lay users and modifies the workflow so that it is suitable for a range of lay users with differend disabilities. Users need no particular accessibility expertise.
- The expert test ("Praxis-Test") focuses on developing teams in which disabled users develop the necessary expertise to carry out accessibility evaluations according to established test procedures like BITV-Test. Testers use their relevant assitive technologies, such as screen readers or magnification software. Other members in the team cover aspects that may not testable due to the particular condition of the tester.
The aim of both methods is to combine test results from different modes of use in order to contribute to a more valid overall result regarding the actual usability of sites and apps.