On Input
Success Criterion 3.2.2 (Level A)


Have you ensured that user interface components (e.g., form fields, radio buttons or checkboxes) contained within your site or application do not initiate a change of context when the form receives input?

Why is this important

It is important that a web page or application acts in a predictable way. If a user selects a checkbox, enters text into a text field, or selects an option from a list, the context of the page should not change automatically as a result of that input. If it does, the user could become frustrated and disoriented. If this change of context is appropriate, then warn the user beforehand that the change will happen on input.

Whom does it benefit?

Example 1:

As a person who relies on screen magnification software,
I want to know that the selection I am about to make will open a new web page before the change occurs.
so that I can zoom out and easily orient myself with the new content.

Example 2:

As a who struggles with reading and comprehension,
I want to be alerted beforehand to changes that will occur to the page when filling out a form
so that I do not become confused with a change in page context.

Example 3:

As a who relies on screen reader software to read web pages,
I want to have prior warning of any pop-up windows which open based on the selections I make,
so that I do not become disorientated when my screen reader focuses on the new window.

What should you do?

Ensure that taking action on an interactive page element does not result in a change of context for the user. If the change in context is required due to the functionality of the element, then the user should be notified of such behavior will happen before using the element or component.

How do you do it?

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. For example:

  • 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 before the focus moves automatically between fields that there is an explicit statement telling the user that this will occur.

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: