‘Concurrent Input Mechanisms’ requires no restrictions on modes of input.

Introduction

Users may choose to switch between different methods of input when interacting with a website. For example, for some controls a user might prefer to input by keyboard and for others they might favour a mouse.

Users might also prefer to override the primary input mechanism for a device. For example, connecting an external keyboard to a touchscreen tablet. Allowing users to switch between concurrent input mechanisms can satisfy these needs.

How to Pass ‘Concurrent Input Mechanisms’

Ensure there are no restrictions on modes of input. 

Exceptions to ‘Concurrent Input Mechanisms’

  • Where a set input mode is essential. For example, a touch-typing test.
  • If the restriction is required for security.
  • If the restriction is required to respect a user’s setting.

See Also

Understanding Success Criterion 2.5.6 (W3C)

The target size for pointer inputs is at least 44 by 44 CSS pixels.

Introduction

Users with mobility impairments may have difficulty using elements if their target area is small. These users may have trouble with aiming or being able to keep a pointer steady. Larger target areas help these users interact with controls and elements.

How to Pass ‘ Target Size’

Ensure that the target areas for all pointer inputs are at least 44 by 44 CSS pixels.

Exceptions

  • When the target is available through an equivalent control on the same page that meets the requirements.
  • When the target is a sentence or block of inline text.
  • When the target size is controlled by the user agent.
  • When the presentation of a target that doesn’t meet the requirements is essential.

‘Target Size’ Tips

Remember that pointers include both mouse control and touch control.

Although there is a minimum size, the larger the control the easier it is for everyone to use.

Consider making frequently used or important controls larger.

Be careful not to place controls near the edge of a screen as this may be more difficult to reach for some users.

See Also

Understanding Success Criterion 2.5.5 (W3C)

‘Focus Appearance (Enhanced)’ requires that focus indicators are more clearly distinguishable when active.

Introduction

Focus indicators help users see which element on a page currently has focus, they are especially useful for people with low-vision, memory or mobility impairments. 

Where a focus indicator is used to show an element has current focus, it must be clearly visible and distinguishable. This goes beyond 2.4.11 to increase contrast requirements and expands the minimum area of the indicator.

How to Pass ‘Focus Appearance (Enhanced)’

When a component receives keyboard focus:

  • The focus indicator has a contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1 between focused and unfocused states;
  • The element within focus isn’t hidden; and
  • The focus indicator area is at least 2 CSS pixels around the perimeter.

‘Focus Appearance (Enhanced)’ Tips

It may sound basic, but a thick black border around an element when it receives focus will often do the trick (unless your website has a very dark background colour of course).

You could also change the background colour of the whole element on focus.

If you’re worrying about pixel sizes, your indicator probably isn’t clear enough – keep it simple.

See Also

‘Animation from Interactions’ requires that users can disable motion animation.

Introduction

Animations on a website can distract users and, in some cases, cause nausea. Avoiding animated elements triggered by the user (for example parallax scrolling or a ‘page loading’ animation) can help these users enjoy the website.

How to Pass ‘Animation from Interactions’

  • Don’t use motion animation on your website; or
  • Allow users to disable all non-essential motion animation.

Exceptions

Animation that’s essential to a website’s function or information, if the same cannot be achieved by other means. 

‘Animation from Interactions’ Tips

“Motion animation” means adding steps to states, such as making a bar chart appear to grow from 0 to 100, rather than loading it at 100.

Add a site-wide control to the top of your website to allow the user to turn off non-essential animation.

This doesn’t mean websites with animation can’t pass, as an animated video would be fine if the purpose of the page was to display that animated video. It’s decorative animation you should seek to avoid or allow users to turn off.

See Also

Warn users about timeouts that cause data loss.

Introduction

Time limits can cause problems for some users with cognitive impairments, who may take longer to complete tasks on a website. It’s therefore important to allow users to complete a process in more than one sitting and alert users to the length of any timeout period.

How to Pass ‘Timeouts’

  • Where possible, allow users 20 hours before a timeout removes their data
  • Warn users of the duration of any timeout period at the beginning of the task

‘Timeouts’ Tips

There are two main types of timeout, for inactivity or a hard time limit. Inactivity is easier for users to deal with as they may be making progress (albeit at a slower pace) and so will be less likely to trigger the timeout.

Hard time limits can be justified if they protect user data or are essential for a business (for example an auction site or hotel room booking form).

Watch out for privacy regulations when you store data, many countries require explicit positive consent for you to do so.

This guideline overlaps with Timing Adjustable, which also deals with time-limits and the controls around them.

See Also

The purpose of all components must be programmatically determinable..

Introduction

Users often set personal preferences in their browser or assistive technology to help them understand websites. By ensuring components are understandable by these technologies, users can experience websites in the way that best suits their needs.

Users with cognitive impairments (such as problems with memory, focus, language and decision-making) benefit from this approach. For example, they may set their browser to display a familiar icon for a navigation link or replace your chosen icon for one they understand.

How to Pass

  • Use ARIA landmarks to define regions of each page
  • Use HTML markup to identify links, icons and user interface components

See Also

Reduce the risk of all input errors

All users make mistakes when inputting data (for example, into forms and checkouts). Aim to prevent these errors occurring, but make it easy for users to correct errors as they occur.

Users can make costly mistakes if they don’t fully understand the implications of their actions or can’t rectify their errors. Error prevention is all about reducing risk to your users.

What to do

To pass this guideline, you need to make sure that:

  • All data input submissions are reversible; or
  • All data input submissions are checked for input errors and the user is given a chance to correct any mistakes; or
  • Add a confirmation page to the data input submission process that summarises the input and the outcome, with an option to correct or discontinue. This page has an input field (for example, a confirm button or checkbox) that acts as confirmation of the submission.

Tips

  • This guideline expands on Guideline 3.3.4.
  • This guideline applies to deletion of data as well as submission.
  • Although each technique alone is enough to pass this guideline, add as many of the techniques to your process as possible.
  • Provide a confirmation webpage that gives the user a chance to read a summary of everything they have input, and positively confirm their actions (especially if inputs were spread over several pages in the process).
  • Validate forms inline and add error messages if input is incorrect. Be specific in explaining how to fix mistakes.

See also

Your website has detailed help and instructions

Your users have a range of abilities. Some will instinctively know how to use your website and others will struggle. You can help your users get the most from your website by offering help wherever you can. This is especially relevant to forms, where your users need to input the right information for the form to work.

What to do

Offer help on your forms by:

  • Labelling input buttons with the nature of the input (for example, ‘Subscribe’ or ‘Buy’); and
  • Where an input field needs more information than a label provides, add a link to that information near the field (for example ‘Help with this answer’); and
  • Where a field needs a specific format, use a label, adjacent text or placeholder text showing the correct format (for example, ‘Date: DD/MM/YYYY’).

Tips

  • A link to further information, such as help for a form, counts as an “essential” exception against opening a link in a new window (see Guideline 3.2.5). Opening a link to help in a new window allows the users to follow the help whilst skipping between windows.
  • An example of when further information would help is beside a free text field to answer the question: ‘Why are you a good candidate for this job?’ The help could offer hints and tips on the correct format for an answer. Make certain, for instance, to note any character or word limit.

See also

Elements do not change without a request.

Introduction

Some of your users will find automatic changes hard to deal with. Unexpected actions can interrupt their concentration and prevent them from reaching their goals. Help your users by keeping them in control and avoiding elements on your website that change automatically.

A change without a request is especially troublesome for users who navigate by keyboard, as well as those with visual disabilities or cognitive limitations. 

How to Pass ‘Change on Request’

  • If you have an element that updates or changes automatically (like a live news ticker), there is an option to pause this and update only when requested.
  • All links open in the same window, unless it’s essential (for example, opening a transcript to a video).
  • If a link does open in a new window, the user is aware of this (for example, in the anchor text of the link or by an icon).
  • Forms do not auto-submit when fields are filled.
  • Any redirect from one page to another is immediate.

‘Change on Request’ Tips

Avoid using the option to add a pause button wherever possible, it’s not as accessible as giving the user full control.

This guideline builds on 2.2.2 – Pause, Stop, Hide and 3.2.2 – On Input by removing some exceptions, so you may already have passed.

The best way to redirect a user from one webpage to another is to do it without them noticing. One of the simplest ways to do this is to edit a website’s .htaccess file, which is in the root directory (not all servers will allow you to edit this file, so check with your hosting provider).

See Also

Define words where meaning is ambiguous without pronunciation. 

Introduction

You can help your users by paying attention to words where the meaning isn’t clear unless the word is pronounced (or spoken). Words like these can make it hard for your users to understand your content, especially if they use a screen reader (which could pronounce words incorrectly) or have limited reading comprehension.

This covers words that are spelled the same but pronounced differently (for example, ‘bow’ v ‘bow’) – also known as heteronyms.

How to Pass ‘Pronunciation’

  • Avoid using words where the meaning, in context, is ambiguous.
  • If you need to use such a word, you can explain the meaning to your users by:
    • Providing a phonetic guide immediately after the word; or
    • Linking the word to a phonetic guide.


‘Pronunciation’ Exceptions

If the word is clear from the context of the sentence (for example “Robin Hood used a bow and arrow”).

See Also