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Thoughts, news, insights and sometimes just random musings.

WCAG 2.4.9: Link Purpose (Link Only)

In our post on WCAG 2.4.4 Link Purpose (In Context) , we discussed why it's important that users be able to figure out the purpose of a link appearing on your site. Either from the text of the link itself, or additionally from the context of where it appears on your page, users should be capable of figuring out where a link would lead so that they ...
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WCAG 2.4.10: Section Headings (Right Here, Buddy)

If you've been on the internet before, you've seen a section heading. If you have a page of text that is organized into different sections, descriptive headings will help provide organizational clarity for everyone who visits your site. [Source: Wordpress] Benefits of Section Headings In addition to being an intuitive way to organize your site, the...
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WCAG 2.5.1: Pointer Gestures

Let's imagine for a moment that you need to look up driving directions to Disneyland. (By the way, did you know Google lists Disneyland as "Good for kids"? Go figure!) On your phone, as you'd expect, you can manipulate the map using the touchscreen, dragging your finger to shift the map in a given direction and pinching with two fingers to zoom in....
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WCAG 2.5.2: Pointer Cancellation

Users with various disabilities and limitations may be more prone to accidentally initiating a function they didn't intend to when using their pointers. With that in mind, the fine folks at WCAG have suggested that, for functionality that's operated using a single pointer—such as single or double taps and clicks, long presses, or path-based gesture...
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WCAG 2.5.3: Label in Name

User interface components, such as links, buttons, and input fields, often have two types of labels: a visible label and a programmatic one. Did we just blow your minds? via GIPHY No? Well, okay. These programmatic labels are also called Accessible Names, and it's important they match their corresponding visible labels so that users relying on assi...
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WCAG 2.5.4: Motion Actuation

With today's preponderance of smartphones and tablets, we've started seeing some pretty cool web functionality developed specifically for these portable devices. Take, for example, this 360° video the New York Times posted, "36 Hours in Michigan's Upper Peninsula", which they created for their virtual reality app.  Taking advantage of these de...
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WCAG 2.5.5: Target Size

The target size, or "clickable" area, of a pointer input (such as a button or link) can be difficult for some users to activate, depending on how big it is. Those with certain physical or mobility limitations may not be able to exercise the precision necessary to select an object on a page, and that goes double when handheld touchscreens are in use...
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WCAG 2.5.6: Concurrent Input Mechanisms

Some may prefer to use one mode of input, such as a mouse, keyboard, or keyboard-like interface, over others when interacting with web content. To ensure that people have the option to utilize the input mechanism that provides the greatest ease of use, WCAG recommends that web content not restrict users from switching between mechanisms, or using o...
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WCAG 3.1.1: Language of Page (Literal Linguistics, not Computer Code)

Principle 2 of WCAG has been concerned with operability. In this article, we are moving onto Principle 3, which is all about making sure information and interfaces on your site are understandable to all users who may come across your page. The first guideline in this principle, WCAG 3.1, helps ensure that the text content on your site is readable a...
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WCAG 3.1.2 Language of Parts

In our previous post , we discussed why it's important to set a default language for your page. Setting a default language ensures browsers and other user agents, including assistive technologies like screen readers, present text and linguistic content correctly. That article described the most basic, or level A, standard for this rule. Here, we'll...
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WCAG 3.1.3: Unusual Words

Let's imagine for a moment that you just went to Chicago on vacation (pro tip: forget the pizza; the hot dogs are killer). You want to learn more about the architectural history of the city, so you do some research on the web. However, the articles you find use a lot of architectural and civil engineering terms you've never seen before. You might b...
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WCAG 3.1.4: Abbreviations (LOL)

If your site contains abbreviations, it's recommended that you provide a way for users to access their expanded forms. Similar to our previous post on unusual words , this will help those who have trouble with comprehension or construing meaning from context. It's also a useful practice for people with limited memory, as well as for anyone relying ...
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WCAG 3.1.5 Reading Level

If the text on your site is more advanced than a lower secondary education reading level (that is, 9 years of schooling), you should provide either supplemental content or an alternate version of the text that is not so complex. Even professionals in a given field can have certain reading disorders, like dyslexia, which may make it especially hard ...
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WCAG 3.1.6: Pronunciation

Just in case your life wasn't confusing enough already, whoever was in charge of creating the English language invented heteronyms, which are two or more words spelled identically but having different pronunciations and definitions. Heteronyms, if lacking proper context, might make a piece of text, such as a page on a website (*hint* *hint*), uncle...
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WCAG 3.2.1: On Focus

In Guideline 3.1, we discussed ways to ensure that the content on your site is readable and understandable. Now, we will talk about the various criteria of Guideline 3.2, which revolves around making your site appear and operate predictably and intuitively. WCAG 3.2.1: The Basics ​ Let's say you're planning a trip to New York City, and, because you...
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WCAG 3.2.2: On Input

In our previous post concerning WCAG 3.2.1 On Focus , we discussed why you should avoid unexpected changes of context. A change in setting refers to the act of inputting data to a component, such as a checklist or text field. Just as a change in focus to a user interface component shouldn't result in a change of context, a change in setting should ...
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WCAG 3.2.3: Consistent Navigation

Let's say you're so impressed with this article series on WCAG that you're searching your local library for a book to send the author as a homage to their overwhelming talent. [Source: nypl.org] You're looking for a particular title, but you aren't sure of the book's author, so you spend some time trying different keywords in the search bar and pla...
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WCAG 3.2.4: Consistent Identification

People who use screen readers to operate the Internet depend greatly on their familiarity with functions that appear on different pages within a site. Say, for instance, that you're once again making a poor financial decision online. [Source: etsy.com] On one page, you find a printer icon which, when selected, prints your receipt of purchase. Howev...
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WCAG 3.2.5: Change on Request (Automatic Changes are (sometimes) Bad)

In our posts on WCAG 3.2.1 On Focus  and WCAG 3.2.2 On Input , we discussed why unexpected changes of context can result in confusion for some users. In this post, we'll focus on automatic changes. Changes of context on your site should only be initiated by user request, or else there should be a mechanism available by which users can turn off...
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WCAG 3.3.1: Error Identification (Do Due Diligence)

In Guideline 3.2, we discussed why it's important that pages appear and operate in a manner that is predictable and intuitive. Now we'll talk about the criteria of Guideline 3.3, which outlines ways you can help users avoid and correct mistakes. Identifying Errors ​ Let's say you're upset because you made a really good sandwich for lunch but then d...
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