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Form and label element association

From: Jens Meiert <jens.meiert@erde3.com>
Date: Wed, 10 Dec 2003 13:11:59 +0100 (MET)
To: "W3C WAI" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <7945.1071058319@www39.gmx.net>

Maybe this is rather an issue using Watchfire WebXACT [1], but checking WCAG
conformance it throws an error when using no label elements in forms:
'Explicitly associate form controls and their labels with the LABEL element.'

In this case, I simply offer a search feature on my site [2] by using a text
field and a button, which definitely is the best and recommended way (see
e.g. [3] or perform additional tests), offering simplicity as well as
usability. Thus, if I'd be forced to label these elements, I'm also forced to reduce
my site's usability and have to irritate users by e.g. placing 'search' twice
(for example by using 'search' as a text label for the text field and to
label the button this way, too), what I'm not willing to do.

Since I'm not sure if the WCAG 2.0 Techniques (WD) softens this issue by
saying 'Using the LABEL element, associate form elements with their labels' [4],
I'm not sure if this is a critical point, either. Consequently, I'll claim
conformance in this point. -- I'm sorry if this is really an already solved
problem (btw, I partially find the WCAG document structure irritating since it
seems impossible to switch between WCAG, UAAG, Techniques and so on), but I
couldn't determine the current handling that fast.

All the best,

[1] http://webxact2.watchfire.com/
[2] http://meiert.com/
[3] http://www.useit.com/alertbox/20031110.html (#8)
[2] http://www.w3.org/WAI/GL/WCAG20/WD-HTMLTECHS-CHECKLIST-20020324.html

Jens Meiert
Interface Architect

Received on Wednesday, 10 December 2003 07:13:55 UTC

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