Important News: Updates to tests on Tenon.io!

Tenon.io was created in 2014 with a mission: Change accessibility testing. We did it, bigtime. Today we enter another chapter with a massive list of improvements.

All told, the latest deployment contains 162 updates, improvements, and bug fixes. Some of the most notable changes include:

  1. Fixing a huge bug testing pages that use CSP.
  2. Fixing semi-related bug where pages with missing or broken assets
  3. Changing the headless browser from PhantomJS to Chrome
  4. Significant performance improvements to the test API
  5. Complete rewrite of all test & issue descriptions
  6. Addition of WCAG 2.1 testing
  7. Making a large number of tests more robust when it comes to edge cases

And we’ve more than doubled the number of accessibility tests

One of the things that makes Tenon different is the way its tests are written. Not only is Tenon DOM-Aware, but its tests are extremely granular. Each test looks for a single, clear, and independent criteria. By focusing on one orthogonal goal per test, Tenon’s accessibility tests resemble well-written unit tests. Not only does this allow us to test for tightly designed criteria but also to provide highly relevant guidance for the issue instances that are found by the tests.

When Tenon.io first launched to the public, it had 74 accessibility tests that covered 1200 distinct failure conditions. Today we’ve more than doubled that number. With over 190 tests, Tenon now tests for far more things than any other Web Accessibility testing product – and we’re not done. In the coming months, that number will approach 250.

With this many new tests being added, there are will definitely be some surprises. We’d like to minimize the surprises as much as possible, so please be sure to carefully read the below:

  1. Testing time is now faster. Despite the significantly higher number of tests, other changes behind the scenes mean that the API is now about 10-20% faster.
  2. You will need to explicitly turn on the new tests. To turn on the new tests, log in to your account and go to Test settings. All of the new tests will be unchecked. To enable them, all you need to do is check the corresponding checkbox next to each one. Only paying customers will be able to change these test settings.
  3. Among the new tests are a large number of tests around ARIA, and a lot of the existing tests have been improved to take ARIA into consideration. Still others add coverage of new criterion added in WCAG 2.1 and new tests oriented around Level AAA.
  4. An obvious consequence of doubling our tests is that you’re going to start seeing a lot of new issues in your reports. For this reason, you definitely want to be deliberate in choosing the new tests you want to enable. We won’t think less of you if you ease into it!
  5. We spent a ton of time validating these tests against real world use cases. We tested the home pages of thousands of websites. We feel pretty confident in these new tests. That said, feel free to give us a shout if you find any buggy tests or false positives. In your message, be sure to give us the Test ID, the error snippet (the piece of code we said was bad) and the URL you tested.

As always, if you need any help using Tenon or want to talk about upgrades or Enterprise instances, give us a shout: talktous@tenon.io

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