Testing links using Fangs

Overview

Fangs renders a text version of a web page similar to how a screen reader would read it. The ambition is to help developers understand how an assistive device would present a website and thereby increase chances of finding accessibility issues early.

Fangs is a Firefox plug-in extension. When opened it will provide an interpretation of the current web page as screen reading software would read it (JAWS is the screen reader Fangs is mainly based around). Views are offered showing the full screen reader output, headings list, or links list.

Strengths

  • Provides a different view of web page content
  • Links list available for review
  • Complete text for links is viewable
  • Can easily review links list for uniqueness and if links make sense out of context

Weakness

  • Does not provide any feedback on problems in links or headings list
  • Does not provide any evaluation of the content of links
  • Only shows links containing text (no indication of links around images except for possibly blank space)
  • Only shows link text, no way to review URL for link

Step 1: Open Fangs

Procedure

  • From the Firefox browser menu, click Tools, then Fangs

Screenshot

Screen shot of Open Fangs

Step 2: Review Fangs Links List

Procedure

  • Click on the “Links list” tab
  • List contains text for links
  • Review to make sure links are unique and make sense out of context

Screenshot

Screen shot of Review Fangs Links List

Rules Evaluated with this Technique

Rules evaluated with Fangs
Test
Type
Description
Undefined

Link text content must indeicate the target of the link.

Manual

Link text should be meaningful when taken out of context; therefore, links that point to different URIs should be unique.

Undefined

An image that is the entire content of a link should be at least 16×16 pixels in size.

Manual

The text content of a link should be at least 4 characters in length when rendered graphically.

Undefined

The alt text for images that are part of links should not be the same as the text content of the link.

Manual

The first link on a page should be a skip navigation link.

Undefined

Internal links need to set tabindex=-1 for compatibilty with Internet Explorer.

Manual

Small links should not be placed close together.