On Input
Success Criterion 3.2.2 (Level A)

Question

In your website/application, are their controls that cause an unexpected change in context when modified or activated?

Why is this important

User interface controls should only change in context when the user has explicitly told it to do so. This is important because users need controls to act in a predictable way and if the control is going to act automatically, the webpage should warn users of this functionality ahead of time.

Whom does it benefit?

Example 1:

As a low vision user
I want a warning if a new page is going to open unexpectedly
so that I can easily understand that I will have to use different navigation functions to return to the previous page.

Example 2:

As a blind user
I want to be able to navigate through a web page and select form elements without changing the context of the webpage
so that I can easily recognize when I have submitted a form.

What should you do?

When there are interactive user elements on a web page, a user needs to be able to clearly understand what actions will result from changing those elements. The best way to accomplish this is to ensure that taking action on single interactive elements on a page does not result in changing the context of the full page without warning the user first. A good example is when filling out a form, the user should be able to fill in individual form elements without automatically submitting the form.

How do you do it?

  • Make sure that forms do not auto-submit when all the form fields are completed. Add an explicit “Submit” button so that the user understands what is occurring.
  • Avoid moving users between fields in an automated way.
  • Make sure that any time the focus is moving automatically between fields that there is an explicit statement telling the user that this will occur.
  • In general, if something will occur automatically when a user operates a control, add text explaining that the context will change immediately after the user completes the action.

Need technical guidance?

Technical guidance is available for implementing this Success Criterion at the Understanding Success Criterion 3.2.2 - On Input page.

Additional Resources to help you: