The design support test provides an accessibility check as input for the web site design process. It shows where improvements are still necessary and documents the degree of BITV 2.0 compliance of the site in its current state. The reliability of test results is limited; the design support test is therefore not suitable for publication.
The test procedure of the design support test is comparable to that of the final test, with one important difference: the design support test is usually carried out by just one tester. For training purposes, the design support test can also be conducted as a tandem test, even with three testers.
The design support test is focused on the consulting context. Its report is for the internal use by the client. The page sample selection can therefore deviate from the prescriptions laid out for the final test, for example, by focusinig only on selected sections of the site that the clients wants to investigate.
Often, clients preparing an accessible website ask for a design support test to identify any remaining problems before launching the site and commissioning a final BITV-Test.
As with the final BITV-Test, it should be possible to conduct the design support test with an acceptable effort and independent of information provided by the web site owner. The same limitations therefore apply as those outlined for the final test.
In contrast to the final test, the design support test is usually not conducted in tandem. The effort is significantly reduced, but so is the reliability of the test results. The result of a design support test is therefore not fit for publication and cannot used to back a conformance claim to BITV 2.0.