Techniques to Define Accessibility Patterns and Testable Requirements During Early Design

Session Evaluation

Class description

This interactive session will show participants an approach to get a head-start on accessibility by identifying requirements early in the design/build cycle, with an aim to reducing defects and overall effort. Participants will practice performing a wireframe/mockup review and will explore how to turn these observations into specific, testable requirements for the Development and QA teams to follow.

The first part of the session will explain the basics of how to perform a wireframe review: common patterns to look for, common gaps or defects, and simple questions to ask the interaction designers. Participants will then practice this approach in small groups on a sample wireframe. Groups will look for accessibility patterns, and potential issues. Groups will role-play asking questions to an interaction designer to understand more about the interface.

The second part of the session will show an approach to translating the accessibility patterns into testable requirements to hand to the Development and QA teams. After an introduction to accessibility pattern best practices, included WAI-ARIA Authoring Practices 1.1 and similar resources, participants will have an opportunity to role-play a discussion with a developer to better understand the constraints and uncertainties that usually demand a flexible and collaborative approach to requirements setting.

Since the primary focus of this session is understanding a workflow, the patterns we explore will be fairly simple, such as buttons, links, headings, tabs, modals, form inputs and validation errors.

Participants do not need technical skills. Familiarity with basic accessibility concepts like keyboard operation and offscreen content for speech output will be useful. An effort will be made to form the small groups with varying levels of accessibility experience.

The goal of the session is for participants to be confident to try these practical techniques on their current projects.


Aidan Tierney


May 17th, 2017


10:15 am-11:45 am

Class level


Class type

BYO Laptop Session


Design & Usability



Take Aways

  • How to identify accessibility patterns in wireframes/mockups and translate these into testable requirements for development and QA.
  • Identifying known accessibility patterns in mockups.
  • Identifying accessibility issues in mockups.
  • Offscreen content approaches.
  • What to ask interaction designers as you review a mockup.
  • Do’s and don’ts of defining requirements.
  • Translating mockup observations into specific testable accessibility requirements for the development and QA team.
  • What to ask developers as you prepare these requirements.
  • Resources for accessibility patterns.


Room TH 116

Session Evaluation

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