Automated and Manual Testing

by Tina Holmboe 12th of May 2010 archive

Greytower’s “siteSifter” quality testing tool — often abbreviated SSX – and what it is capable of is quite well known, but let’s briefly look at what it can and can’t do.

SSX is designed to test either one or more pages from one site against a set of checkpoints called a “baseline” — or to test one or more pages from several sites.

The checkpoints, for example from the WCAG 1.0 and 2.0 guidelines, implemented in SSX are limited to those that can be objectively measured. As such, siteSifter is invaluable for sifting through large amounts of data and finding incorrect code, missing alternates and broken links — to mention some quality tests that can be performed.

When doing accessibility testing, however, automated processing is only part of the job. Several checkpoints in standards such as “Section 508” cannot be programmatically evaluated, but instead require a human operator.

This, in turn, leads to working with more than one tool: siteSifter for automated testing, and a text editor or similar for adding one’s manual test results to the final product.

In order to streamline the process, Greytower is now adding an extended report module to siteSifter. This module will give users the ability to edit and generate entire reports in the same interface.

Automated results can be mixed with manual tests, and the entire process speeded up by storing and re–using conclusions and suggestions. As before, reports can be produced in a number of formats. The system also contains simplified workflow management for teams.

The new module is part of the 2.10 release of siteSifter, which will also see numerous design and structure changes to improve the accessibility of the tool itself.