W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > February 2013

Re: use of placeholder as a label for an input

From: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Date: Tue, 19 Feb 2013 01:08:50 -0800
Cc: HTMLWG WG <public-html@w3.org>
Message-id: <176DB16B-F41E-4514-A539-0B8EC0BC3410@apple.com>
To: Steven Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>

On Feb 18, 2013, at 11:15 PM, Steve Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi all, thanks for your responses so far!
> 
> some backstory, I was motivated to pose this question to the working group as I have observed people tweeting this post: 
> Donít Put Labels Inside Text Boxes [1]
> 
> I also wrote about the placeholder attribute back in 2011 [2] and conducted some testing (2012) [3]

One clarification on that article: placeholder does not disappear on focus, only when you start typing. So you don't have to read ahead of the focus. At least this is true in Chrome, Safari and Firefox on Mac.

 - Maciej

> 
> FWIW I am not married to the idea of having a MUST NOT conformance on placeholder, but wanted to ellicit thoughts from others on the subject. I do think that addtional informative text would be useful.
> 
> [1] http://www.uxmatters.com/mt/archives/2013/02/dont-put-labels-inside-text-boxes-unless-youre-luke-w.php
> [2] http://www.paciellogroup.com/blog/2011/02/html5-accessibility-chops-the-placeholder-attribute/
> [3] http://www.html5accessibility.com/tests/placeholder-labelling.html
> 
> regards
> SteveF
> 
> On 18 February 2013 16:54, Steve Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com> wrote:
> The HTML spec currently states [1]:
> 
> The placeholder attribute should not be used as an alternative to a label.
> 
> should this be tighened up to MUST NOT?
> 
> 
> I believe there are cases where having a label associated using the label element may not be required, but can't think of any cases where the placholder attribute text suffices as the only label for an input.
> 
> thoughts?
> 
> 
> 
> [1] http://www.w3.org/html/wg/drafts/html/master/forms.html#the-placeholder-attribute
> -- 
> with regards
> 
> Steve Faulkner
> 
> 
> 
Received on Tuesday, 19 February 2013 09:09:18 UTC

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