W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-gl@w3.org > July to September 2005

Re: [techs] test case reviews

From: Chris Ridpath <chris.ridpath@utoronto.ca>
Date: Wed, 27 Jul 2005 15:28:24 -0400
Message-ID: <017d01c592e1$5b5a5230$e29a968e@WILDDOG>
To: <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>, "Wendy Chisholm" <wendy@w3.org>
Hi Wendy,

The proper positioning of form control labels is important for accessibility and should be required under the WCAG2.

This is covered under guidelines:
2.4 Provide mechanisms to help users find content...
3.2 Make the placement and functionality of content predictable...
4.2 Ensure that user interfaces are accessible...

The improper positioning of labels affects those with visual impairments as well as those with cognitive impairments. Imagine trying to navigate a form using a screen magnifier when the labels are poorly positioned.

I believe that label positioning is not as important as explicit association but should still be required, perhaps at level 2.

Here's an example of what can happen if this is not required:
http://checker.atrc.utoronto.ca/docs/labeltest1.htm
(The example page shows a form with the labels positioned well away from the controls.)

How close is close? Well, it is difficult to test but there are several strategies for determining closeness. These include screen location proximity and HTML construct sequence. Here are some links that describe why and how to position form labels:
http://www.jimthatcher.com/webcourse8.htm
http://www.usability.com.au/resources/forms.cfm
http://www.netmechanic.com/news/vol7/accessibility_no2.htm
http://usability.gov/web_508/tut-n.html
http://www.webcredible.co.uk/user-friendly-resources/web-accessibility/accessible-forms-1.shtml
http://www.accessify.com/tutorials/better-accessible-forms.asp

I suggest the tests remain but be modified to include a definition of how to determine closeness. The associated technique should be retained and given a priority 2 rating.

Cheers,
Chris
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Wendy Chisholm 
  To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org 
  Sent: Tuesday, July 26, 2005 12:55 PM
  Subject: [techs] test case reviews


  Hello,

  I was assigned the following test cases to review: 
    a.. INPUT element LABEL, TYPE of "password", should be positioned close to control. 
    b.. INPUT element LABEL, TYPE of "checkbox", should be positioned close to control. 
    c.. INPUT element LABEL, TYPE of "file", should be positioned close to control. 
    d.. INPUT element LABEL, TYPE of "radio", should be positioned close to control. 
    e.. TEXTAREA control LABELs should be positioned close to control. 
  These are related to WCAG 1.0 Checkpoint 10.2. Currently, the related technique is considered a "fallback technique" [1] in HTML Techniques. Plus, positioning shouldn't matter if labels are explicitly associated with controls.  Therefore, I don't think we need the technique except to explain the rationale for deprecating it to support the transition from WCAG 1.0 to WCAG 2.0.

  I propose we delete all 5 of these tests.

  --wendy

  [1] <http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20-HTML-TECHS/#formlabel-position> 
Received on Wednesday, 27 July 2005 19:28:49 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.2.0+W3C-0.50 : Monday, 7 December 2009 10:47:39 GMT