How to Catch a11y Defects During Unit and E2E Testing

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For developers, it is better to catch any a11y defects during unit and e2e testings. This talk is going to show how to automate a11y testing using jest and cypress.

7 min
19 Nov, 2021

Video Summary and Transcription

This Talk provides ways to catch accessibility defects during testing, including adding accessibility testing to a website for Studio Ghibli using React, NX, Jazz, JazzX, Cypress, and CypressX. The importance of unitizing components and conducting end-to-end testing with Cypress and CypressX is emphasized to ensure accessibility. The process of setting up CypressX testing is explained, highlighting the use of typings and the CypressX support file. These tools make it easier for developers to avoid accessibility bugs during development.

Available in Español

1. Introduction to Accessibility Testing

Short description:

I'm going to show you some ways to catch accessibility defects during testing. Accessibility bugs are challenging to fix, especially when testing is done at the end of a project. I'll demonstrate how to add accessibility testing to a website for Studio Ghibli. The tech stack includes React, NX, Jazz, JazzX, Cypress, and CypressX.

Hello everyone, I'm going to show you some ways to catch accessibility defects during unit and end-to-end testing.

First, a bit about myself, I'm Emily, I'm a developer in Toronto, and I currently work for a company named Narwhal.

So this is how fixing accessibility bug feels like to me, basically doing a lot of patch fixes. As a developer, accessibility is the type of bug I do not wish to be assigned to. In my past projects, accessibility testing is usually done at the very end of the project, by the time I need to fix those bugs, the page is already built. It is very hard to make any structure change and move components around.

This talk will show you some ways for developers to automate some accessibility testing while we are doing the development. I'm going to show you how I add accessibility testing to this simple website I've created. It is a search engine for Studio Ghibli. Studio Ghibli is a Japanese animation company. This simple app would allow you to search any films and characters under this studio. This is what this website looks like. You can search anything, for example princess. If I enter princess here and search, it will show me any princess-related films. If I search for example Kiki here, it will show me films and characters related to Kiki. I can click the film here and it shows me the film detail.

Quickly go through the tech stack. Frontend is React. MonorepoTool is NX which is built by my company Noworld. NX is a powerful tool that will set up unit and end-to-end testing for your outdoor box. So I highly recommend you to check it out. For unit testing, I'm going to use jazz and JazzX. For end-to-end testing, I'm going to use Cypress and CypressX. For unit testing, I use Jazz and JazzX. You can install JazzX and it's typing. Use the command here. Now with JazzX installed, I need to set up. I add a setup file named Jazz.setup.js here. Inside the JazzConfig file, I need to add the key SetupFileAfterEnvironment and point to the Jazz.setup.js here. Inside Jazz.setup.js, this is what it looks like.

2. Unitizing Components and End-to-End Testing

Short description:

The setup is done. Now I want to unitize the search form component to check for accessibility violations. Developers can add similar tests to each component of the app to ensure accessibility. Let's move on to end-to-end testing with Cypress and CypressX. Here's a Cypress test for the search page.

It's very simple. You just have an import from here. And it also extends Jazz's expect function to have no violation from Jazz.x. Now the setup is done.

I want to unitize the search form component on the top here. It's a really simple search form. It has a text field and a search submit button. Currently, you have a default text to check whether it renders successfully or not.

Now I want to unitize for the component to check whether it has any accessibility violation. Note I've imported from jazz.x on the top here. Then I added unitize to check for accessibility violations. It renders the component here and then it passes the container to this x from jazz.x library. You would expect the output here to have no violations. The unit test would be very simple. It has two lines here. It's pretty easy to add. Now when I run the unit testing again, I will notice that the test failed which is actually great. It means the tests are actually working. It will show the accessibility errors in the console here.

Developer could add similar tests to each component of the app. If all the components are accessible, the entire app is more likely to be accessible. It is good that we allow developers to add accessible unit tests while just building the components. The components could be stand-alone and do not even need to show up on the browser page. This would help to avoid accessibility bug at the component level.

How about page level? I am going to talk about end-to-end testing. It is going to use Cypress and CypressX. Here are the commands to install CypressX.

I have a Cypress test for the search page, which is basically entering text in the search field. Submit the search form and make sure you redirect to the results page with the right query parameter. This is what the Cypress test looks like.

3. CypressX Testing and Accessibility

Short description:

To set up CypressX testing, add typings in the tx.config file and import from CypressX in the support file. Then, inject X in the before each statement and add the test. Check accessibility. Running the Cypress test again will show any accessibility violations on the search page. These tools make it easier for developers to avoid accessibility bugs during development.

You enter the text field and redirect to the results page. To set up CypressX testing, I need to add typings first. In the tx.config file, under compile option types, I need to add CypressX here. Also in the support file, I add the import from CypressX.

Now I am done with the CypressX testing. I am ready to add CypressX test. In the before each statement, I need to add a line to inject X here. Then I simply add the test. I just have one line. Check accessibility.

Now I run the Cypress test again. Notice it failed. I have added a console log to output accessibility violations on the search page here. This will help test app on the page level and prevent accessibility-related regression bugs. With all these tools, it will be easier for developer to avoid accessibility bug during development rather than going through them when the entire app is built. This is the end of my presentation.

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