‘Labels or Instructions’ requires forms and controls to provide labels or instructions for user input.


Most websites have at least some elements that require user input. For example, these might be controls or forms. It’s essential to label controls such as radio buttons and checkboxes so that users understand what they are selecting.

It can also be useful to provide users with clear instructions around forms and controls, especially if there are validation rules around inputs. Be wary that overdoing instructions can make controls harder to understand.

How to Pass ‘Labels or Instructions’

  • Use descriptive labels on form fields and controls.
  • Provide text instructions at the beginning of a form or section of a form.
  • Show users the expected format of free text entries.
  • Indicate required fields.
  • Use text to identify required fields that have been missed.

‘Labels or Instructions’ Tips

Keep your labels simple – too much explanation can be counter-productive. Things like ‘First name’, ‘Email’ and ‘Your message’ are fine.

The same goes for instructions, ‘Required fields are in red and have a * symbol’ works great. So does ‘Fill in this form and click ‘Submit’ to get in touch’.

Think about how your use of colour affects things like required fields if you want to highlight them by colour. Don’t highlight by colour alone, pick a symbol too.

Consider error identification as well, and make sure that you give helpful instructions when your users make mistakes on forms.

See Also 

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I'm Luke, I started Wuhcag in 2012 to help people like you get to grips with web accessibility. Check out my book, 'How to Meet the WCAG 2.0'.

One comment for “Labels or Instructions (Level A – 3.3.2 )

    When forms are made that only use text holders instead of labels, (so the context of the field is written inside itself) is that enough to say it has been labelled correctly?

    Or does the form need the label separate to the field before hand, much like you have on this form?



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