SNHU Instructional Support Services

How to Keyboard Test


Go to the Site That You Want to Test.

  1. Refresh the page to ensure that you are on the address bar.
  2. Use the the tab key to move down through the entire page.
  3. Use the shift+tab key to move back up through the entire page.

What Should be Looked For

  1. The first tab should get you to a "skip link" or "skip to main content" link.
"Skip to main content" on my.snhu homepage.
  1. Every interactive element should appear in the tabbing order when testing.
  1. When tabbing is there a clearly visible focus box around the content that you are tabbing to.

Below is an example of, a clearly visible focus box around "offices."

"Offices" highlighted with tab.

Below is an example of, Below is an example of, a not clearly visible focus box around the search bar.

The blue around it should be darker to make the color contrast pass.

Search bar in screen steps editor with not clearly visible focus box.

Below is an example of, no focus box around “Partners.”

There is not focus on the "Partners" link at all.

Highlands credentials Partners with no focus box.
  1. While testing using “enter” or “return” when on a tab focus item to confirm that it will do the action that you were expecting to happen.

In the following example, using the "enter" or "return" key while on "offices" brought me to the "offices" homepage.

"Offices" homepage.
  1. Use mouse to hover over each interactive element to see what the hover state is. Compare to tab focus state to confirm that there is an equivalent state.

For example, hovering mouse over a menu causes a drop-down of sub-options verify that this happens with the tabbing as well.

  1. You should be able to use your keyboard to dismiss any pop-up windows that cover the main content.
  1. You will also need to test other important key(s) that keyboard only users use while exploring the internet. The table below shows important keystrokes that should be tested on a webpage and the expected outcome:

Interaction Keystoke(s) Expected Outcome
Navigate the Webpage
  • “Tab"
  • “Shift” + “Tab”
  • Goes from top of page to bottom of page
  • Goes backwards of the “tab”
  • “Enter” or “return”
  • Goes to link that is on focus
  • “Enter” or “return” or spacebar
  • Activate the button on focus
  • Spacebar
  • Check or uncheck the box
Radio buttons
  • Up, down, left, and right arrows
  • “Tab"
  • Go through to select an option
  • Move to the next element 
Select (dropdown) menu
  • Up and down arrows
  • Spacebar
  • Naviagte between the options
  • Expand the options
  • Typing
  • Up and down arrows 
  • “Enter” or “return"
  • Beging filitering the reponses
  • Move between the options
  • Select the option that is highlighte 
  • “Esc"
  • Close any open dialog
  • Up and down arrows or left and right arrows
  • “Home” and “end” 
  • Increase or receease the slider value
  • Begining of the slider or end of the slider
Menu bar
  • Up and down arrows
  • “Enter” or “return”
  • Left and right arrows
  • Previous and next menu optinos
  • Expand the menu option
  • Expand or collpase a submenu
Tab panel
  • “Tab"
  • Up and down arrows or left and right arrows
  • Once to naviagte into the group and once to naviagte out of the group
  • Choose and acitivate the previous or next tab
’Tree’ menu
  • Up and down arrows
  • Left and right arrows
  • Naviagte between previous and next menu options
  • Exapnd or collpase the submenu
  • Up and down arrows
  • Left and right arrows
  • Spacebar or “shift” + spacebar
  • Scroll vertically
  • Scroll horizontally
  • Scroll by page

Additional Resources

Microsoft Insights chrome extension has a walkthrough on keyboard testing that walk you through and show you were you are tabbed to which can be helpful if the site does not have focus. Along with the focus, it shows the path it took allowing the test to verify the tabbing order is logical. Doing the assessment is a lengthy test that is useful for testing though, if you only want to do a keyboard testing you can you the keyboard section which will help you walk through the entire testing.

Previous Article How to Use Accessibility Insights for Web
Next Article How to Use Google Lighthouse to Check Accessibility