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Audit Observations Explained

When you’re working on a project audit, you’ll notice that there’s two major sections of the audit editor – Observations and Success Criteria. This article explains the former, Observations, if you’re looking for more details about success criteria check out this accompanying article.

Audit editor page with a green box around the Observations section to the left of Success Criteria

Audit observations are at the core of what Be Inclusive audit management was created for, so a lot of care and attention went into the workflows and how observations are structured.

Observation Form Structure

When you click on the “Add Observation button or mark a success criteria as “Failed”, a new observation form will open as a full-page modal. This form is loosely organized into three sections – Categorization, Detail, and Remediation.

Categorization

The categorization section of the audit observation form, including fields for success criterion, testing support of, testing tool, page component, audit theme, global scope, and flagged for review.

This section of the observation form is all about describing general details. This is where you set:

  • the relevant Success Criterion (if any)
  • the Testing Tool you used to find this observation
  • the browser or tool you were Testing Support Of
  • optionally defining a Page Component it was found in, for easier sorting later during audit remediation
  • optionally defining another custom audit theme that makes sense for you and your team
  • Global Scope if you’ve found something that is going to affect multiple target samples, for example an issue with the global header navigation
  • a flag as a reminder to review before finalizing your audit

Detail

The detail section of the audit observation form, including fields for an observation summary, details, and accompanying files.

This section is all about providing as much detail as you can about what the observation entails including:

  • a summary so you can easily identify this observation against the others in a condensed list view. For example ‘Search icon has no discernible text’
  • observation details where you can get in depth about the specifics of the observation, and steps to reproduce it. This is a WYSIWYG field that allows you to include headlines, lists, code blocks, links, etc.
  • accompanying files where you can share screenshots, recorded videos, PDFs, or any other relevant media that will make it easier to understand the observation. You can load as many files as you need here.

Remediation

The remediation section of the audit observation form, including fields for priority, estimated effort, remediation notes, and responsible parties.

This section is all about making it easier to prioritize remediation and to offer some suggestions during that phase of the process including:

  • a priority estimate on a rough scale of 1-5 where 1 is of critical priority because some groups cannot access at all, and 5 is considered “Best Practice” with little practical access issues. All new observations start in the middle at a 3.
  • an effort estimate also on a rough scale of low, medium, high, and significant. If an effort is truly unknown there’s an option for that as well.
  • remediation notes where you can get into more details about suggestions for remediation. If you have specific ideas on how to remediate or links to resources that could help, this would be the perfect place for that.
  • responsible parties where you can define one or more groups (designers, developers, content authors, or other) would need to be involved during remediation.

Observation Detail Structure

Example of audit observations for the "Project Create" target sample of the Be Inclusive application. Contains four observations for the target and two global observations.

As you log observations for each target sample, this section of the audit editor will start to fill up with them so you have an at-a-glance view of the progress you and your team has made. Each observation logged is an accordion item that shows the success criterion, testing support of, testing tool, and observation summary.

Opening the accordion will show you the remaining details of the observation including:

  • Priority, Effort, and Global Scope statuses
  • Accompanying Files
  • Observation Details
  • Remediation Notes
  • Responsible Parties
  • Additional meta information including who created the observation and when, and a permalink to see observation details on its own page.
Observation details expanded in the audit editor to display additional details not shown when the observation accordion is closed.

Global Observations

This section is just below the list of observations for a target sample and lists out all the observations that were flagged as Global. These global observations persist across all target samples so you don’t unintentionally create the same global observation more than once across multiple pages.

Example of audit observations for the "Project Create" target sample of the Be Inclusive application. The global observations section is highlighted with a green box to denote its location

Last updated: Oct 19th 2022

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