Hello <<First Name>>!
Welcome to the last newsletter of the year! To round off 2018, we'll be hearing from Amanda Mace, Web Key's Operational Manager. We would also like to wish you a wonderful holiday season and all the best for 2019.
A WCAG 2.1 Overview
It was a long time in the making but there is genuine excitement over the additional 17 Success Criteria (SC) released in W3C’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). As many of you are aware, WCAG version 2.1 was released this past June. Everyone has had a few months to adjust, understand and get behind these new SC. We have seen a spike in recent weeks of clients asking for 2.1 testing and advice. This is a fantastic trend, not only because the new criteria ensure a more accessible web for all, but also because you, our customers, are initiating it.
The new criteria focussed on issues affecting cognitive, low vision and mobile users. Here is a breakdown of all the new level A and level AA SC:
1.3.4 Orientation (AA)
This SC ensures content and functionality are available in both landscape and portrait view.
1.3.5 Identify Input Purpose (AA)
Programmatically declaring specific kinds of data expected in an input field makes filling out forms easier. This is also a win for those of us who appreciate auto-fill or autocomplete when filling online forms.
1.4.10 Reflow (AA)
No more horizontal scrolling when zoomed up to 400%. Truthfully, a good robust mobile responsive design solves this issue nicely.
1.4.11 Non-Text Contrast (AA)
UI components and graphical objects now have a colour contrast requirement of at least a 3:1 ratio.
1.4.12 Text Spacing (AA)
This SC says that users need to be able to adjust line height as well as spacing between letters, words and paragraphs; and doing so shouldn't break the content, it should still work and be readable.
1.4.13 Content on Hover or Focus (AA)
Pop ups that appear on keyboard focus or mouse hover need to be able to be closed without moving the focus.
2.1.4 Character Key Shortcuts (A)
Your special shortcut keys may interfere with shortcuts for assistive technology (AT). This SC requires that you give the user the ability to turn off or remap your shortcuts, so it doesn’t interfere with their AT.
2.5.1 Pointer Gestures (A)
Swiping on a touchscreen or multi-point gestures such as a two-finger pinch/zoom may not be possible for some users. This SC ensures there is a single point gesture for those features – a ‘zoom in’ and ‘zoom out’ button for example.
2.5.2 Pointer Cancellation (A)
This SC ensures nothing is activated on down-event. If a user clicks on a target, it should activate on the up-event, not the down-event.
2.5.3 Label in Name (A)
Label in Name particularly helps users who use speech-to-text AT. Components should programmatically contain the text that is visually seen so users can call out the right command for the component.
2.5.4 Motion Actuation (A)
“Shake to shuffle the deck” seems like a great enhancer for a game, and it may well be, but if you have any kind of motion requirement, make sure you can a) turn it off and b) provide an easy alternative to perform that function, like a button.
4.1.3 Status Messages (AA)
It’s important that status messages can be perceived by all users. This SC tells us to code those messages, so they can be presented to users by their AT without focus taking them away from what they are doing. For those of you into coding, ARIA live polite is a great solution for this.
Five of the new SC fall under level AAA. Adding some level AAA wins is a great show of your willingness to go ‘above and beyond’ the set requirements to avoid litigation. The new AAA level SC include:
- 1.3.6 Identify Purpose
- 2.2.6 Timeouts
- 2.3.3 Animation from Interactions
- 2.5.5 Target Size
- 2.5.6 Concurrent Input Mechanisms