“I get no respect. The way my luck is running, if I was a politician I would be honest.” ― Rodney Dangerfield
I bet you if the Firefox browser could talk, it would say something just like that. Why are we forgetting Firefox? Why aren't we testing (if you're not) in other browsers besides Chrome?
Maybe you're not forgetting other browsers like Firefox, but are you asking around to see if your engineering friends and colleagues are?
Chrome makes up 65.87% of the market share (as of June 2022), reminiscent of the old browsers wars some of us (myself included) who are long in the tooth saw before with Internet Explorer and Netscape.
In my accessibility work these days I am continuing to see a worrying trend. Development of sites and applications for the browser using one browser. Chrome. I don't see a lot of organizations or teams that are taking this into consideration. There are other browsers on the market.
"What does that have to do with accessibility?"
Two major browsers, two different rendering engines. Those are glaring differences right from the start. Quantum (and Gecko) are what Firefox uses (and used) to power the browser. Chromium, of course, for Chrome.
Some things don't work or act differently in one browser. Screen readers for instance. NVDA works better in Firefox than it would in Chrome. That has an impact on accessibility. A huge impact. JAWS is optimal for Chrome. Nuances that need to be tested.
The biggest thing though that I see is the lack of testing in Firefox. I don't think developers or engineers are asking themselves that question? I can even say this about Safari and Edge as well.
JAWS has partial support in Chrome for the
alert role. Firefox fully supports
alert. There is full support for the
option element in Chrome and only partial support in Firefox. You can see other differences at a11ysupport.io.
It's these little nuances that can make or break something accessibility-wise that developers and engineers need to make sure they cover or it could mean something is inaccessible.
Are Chrome's DevTools better? Rhetorical question because I do think they are slightly better but, Firefox's amazing Accessibility panel shines, which is why I use Firefox.
I know when I am head down and working as hard and as fast as I can to get my list of daily items done, I can be laser-focused and not pay attention to anything around me and I can forget to check.
I have a note, on my desk. Since I do not test in Chrome, I always look and see that note that reads:
There are a lot of examples I could list that personally, I have run into. Recent audits I have found keyboard issues with
input type="date", visually hidden content, accessible name in an element. Those are just a few. In the landscape of frameworks and CSS libraries we need to be more vigiliant.
The bottom line is make sure things are copacetic between Chrome and other browsers. Accessibility of those components or applications and sites depend on it. Users most importantly depend on it.
You may be a Chrome power user, you may like the DevTools best for Firefox, whatever reason you have, let's try to test things in those browsers that other people use. It may be 3% for Firefox users, it might be the 18% who are Safari users.
You never know who is using the product. We are not the product. We don't make things for the Web when we are employed for ourselves. We make them for the users. The people on the other side of the glass. "It works on my machine." isn't cutting it these days.
Remember Firefox (and the other browsers) please.