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Usability testing with disabled people

​According to One Scotland, one million people in Scotland have a disability. This means many people using your products have disabilities. Many of us will also acquire disabilities as we get older.

When developing a product or service, or planning some usability testing on a current product, you should represent all your users.

You can conduct usability testing with disabled people on prototypes, products in production or live products. The earlier you include people, the more insight you'll have about what people want from your product.

Ahead of usability testing, carry out an accessibility assessment and fix accessibility issues. Failing to do so can result in people unable to provide usability feedback during the session. 

Benefits of usability testing with disabled people

By including disabled people in usability testing, you and your product team learn first-hand what people need to use your products. It helps you build an understanding of how people who use assistive technologies interact with content. For example, you should consider how users might work with screen readers, screen magnification and speech recognition software, or customise text, colour and zoom settings. 

Findings and observations from usability testing help identify how to make user journeys and task completion a more inclusive experience, not just an accessible one. It’s an excellent way of identifying ideas for new features as well as improvements to existing ones.

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