Can all users understand and fill out forms?
Why it’s important: Esther is beginning to show signs of dementia and has trouble with short term memory loss, she needs context clues and instructions to stay visible on the screen or she loses her place.
Jerome uses a screen magnifier and when validation messages are shown off to the side he can easily miss them.
Steps to take
- Make sure all inputs have descriptive labels that remain visible even after a field has been filled in.
- Try to use HTML form elements as much as possible, and test any custom interactions for use with screen readers and keyboard only.
- Use a straw or make a narrow window with your fist and view the page through that, scanning vertically but not horizontally. This can help you discover if content is hidden from users using screen magnifiers.
- Minimize the number of responses overall and that are displayed on a single page, but provide context clues throughout for people who might easily lose their place.
GDS’s guidance on form structure
WCAG 2.0 references
- 1.1.1 Non-text Content
- 1.3.1 Info and Relationships
- 3.2.1 On Focus
- 3.3.2 Labels or Instructions
- 4.1.2 Name, Role, Value