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RE: Form and label element association

From: Yvette P. Hoitink <y.p.hoitink@heritas.nl>
Date: Wed, 10 Dec 2003 16:45:54 +0100
To: <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-Id: <E1AU6XG-00004n-Sn@smtp4.home.nl>

I regularly teach internet workshops to senior citizens. Most of my
workshops are about using the internet for genealogy. Since many genealogy
sites use forms, I have seen a lot of elderly people using forms. Many of my
students have limited computer experience and limited understanding of the
use of their operating system. They often have reduced eyesight as well. 

I have found that many of these people have trouble deleting placeholder
texts in forms. Especially if the text is larger than the text box, people
who do not have a lot of computer experience and/or mouse coordination find
it difficult delete the entire text. In larger forms with multiple text
boxes, I have seen people get very annoyed at the extra effort required of
them to first delete all the texts that were already filled in. Also, some
people didn't recognize as easily that they had missed to fill out some
required fields because text was already there or ended up searching for
"John Paul Enter surname here".

For these reasons, I personally advise against the use of placeholder texts,
even though it violates a current WCAG 1 AAA guideline. I think the
title-attribute offers a much more elegant way since it helps those people
who need the additional information, without creating new obstacles for

Yvette Hoitink
CEO Heritas, Enschede, The Netherlands

> -----Original Message-----
> From: w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org
> [mailto:w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org] On Behalf Of lisa seeman
> Sent: woensdag 10 december 2003 15:57
> To: 'John M Slatin'; 'Jens Meiert'; 'W3C WAI'
> Subject: RE: Form and label element association
> What if the place holding text for the text box read "enter search 
> text here"
> Would that do it?
> All the best
> Lisa Seeman
> Visit us at the UB Access website
> UB Access - Moving internet accessibility

[in response to question about what to do with search boxes that have no
label? ]
Received on Wednesday, 10 December 2003 10:46:01 UTC

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