WCAG 2.1 Criteria that need to be tested on mobile devices

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Note: These are draft recommendations are provided as-is and subject to change without notice.

This page contains the WCAG 2.1 success criteria (at Level A and AA) and conformance requirements for web content that need to be tested on a mobile device. The list is limited as many criteria either can be tested on the desktop/laptop or may not be applicable -- for example SC 1.4.10 Reflow -- because mobile browsers don't support reflow.

Responsive page variations can easily be generated on desktop/laptop by changing browser zoom, user agent strings, viewport width or by using developer tools to switch to mobile view. Pages that only trigger variations based actual mobile devices that can't be simulated are rare today.

For sites with two separate code bases for mobile and desktop/laptop the same principles would generally apply but each generally would be treated as completely separate audit with testing required for SC for each version.

Criteria and Conformance Requirements

  • WCAG Conformance Requirement - Full Pages - page variations (when specific automatically created variations cannot be presented on desktop/laptop) (Seen by many as also applicable to WCAG 2.0)
  • WCAG Conformance Requirement - Accessibility Support - Implementation techniques that supports Assistive technology used on mobile devices such as Talkback, VoiceOver, and switch control. (Also applicable to WCAG 2.0)
  • SC 1.3.4 Orientation
  • SC 2.5.1 Pointer Gestures (only when touch gestures are offered that are different from mouse pointer gestures)
  • SC 2.5.2 Pointer Cancellation (only when touch gestures are offered that are different from mouse pointer gestures)
  • SC 2.5.4 Motion actuation
  • Any functionality that can only be tested on a mobile device -- in general services like camera, geolocation, etc. are available on desktop/laptop -- but if such service is not available then that function for SC would need to be tested on one or more mobile platforms depending on the scope of the audit.

Which SC must be tested Again on desktop/laptop when RWD is triggered

Changes in RWD are not just aesthetics and can trigger different controls, new content, hiding of certain content, different styles, etc. and all re-testing of most SC in different RWD breakpoints will be needed.

  • Essentially all other SC must be re-tested again when RWD is encountered and when SC 1.4.4 Resize Text is tested as this triggers changes that includes responsive breakpoints. Because of this requirement be initiated with SC 1.4.4 Resize Text -- this recommendation applies to WCAG 2.0 as well.

Use Case Scoping

As use case testing is focused on functional outcomes of using assistive technology -- assistive technology and browser combinations that include mobile devices should be used for WCAG 2.1 audits. In addition, when RWD versions are in scope for a WCAG 2.0 audit use cases should include mobile assistive technology and browser combinations.

Breaking out Responsive Testing Results

We typically include hours for RWD testing. 1 hour per page or test different pages for responsive modules. At this point there is some flexibility on how we break that up if it’s best to separate modules or add RWD results to the desktop/laptop page. Using separate modules may make things more clear unless we are explicit in the issues notes which issues were RWD and at what breakpoint.

List of SC at Level A or AA that are not applicable to or likely not to occur in Native apps

  • SC 1.3.5 Identify Input purpose
  • SC 1.4.10 Reflow
  • SC 1.4.12 Text spacing
  • SC 1.4.13 Content on Hover of Focus -- hover would not generally apply and on focus would be very unlikely to occur on native mobile
  • SC 2.1.4 Character Shortcuts - Could occur but would be unlikely

Manual Testing Tools for WCAG 2.1 web content

Favlets for WCAG 2.1