Success Criterion 3.3.5 (Level AAA)


In your website/application, do you provide context-sensitive help on how to perform operations when the label is not sufficient to explain the context?

Why is this important

Some users with disabilities might find it difficult to understand what is required to perform an operation. The context-sensitive help should be there to help users avoid making mistakes and to help them complete an operation successfully.

Whom does it benefit?

Example 1:

This benefits users with writing disabilities or people who have difficulty filling in forms / whenever text input is required. Also, it helps the elderly people who might struggle with text input and/or with mouse operation.

As a aging person
I want to know where I need to key information
so that I can use an online service successfully (e.g. online shopping).

Example 2:

As a person with a writing disability
I want to know what the required fields are
so that I can complete an online form successfully (e.g. an online tax return form or an on-line job application).

What should you do?

  • provide spell checking and suggestions for text input (e.g. in a drop-down menu)
  • provide text instructions at the beginning of a form (e.g. mark required fields with an asterisk or provide format for date input: mm/dd/yyyy)

How do you do it?

  • when a form needs to be filled, provide a help link with instructions and examples next to each question
  • for more complex operations required e.g. a website registration, provide an avatar explaining the operation, with examples, suggestions and extra instructions on data format etc.

Need technical guidance?

Technical guidance is available for implementing this Success Criterion at the Understanding Success Criterion 3.3.5 - Help page.