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RE: Label versus Title

From: Al Gilman <asgilman@iamdigex.net>
Date: Sat, 20 Apr 2002 23:30:20 -0400
Message-Id: <Version.32.20020420193925.01b5c660@pop.iamdigex.net>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
At 06:20 PM 2002-04-20 , Jim Thatcher wrote:
>Not so much arcane as "never" used and therefore not supported by screen
>readers or HPR.  I think fieldset and legend are good techniques to group
>sets of controls in a form even if not supported by AT; but this discussion
>is about a small set of input elements with ostensibly one label ... and
>what to do about that.

One label is what they were going to do, that is true.  Isn't that enough of a usability defect to merit a warning?

Using just one label when you have split the entry into two form controls is pretty confusing.  Particularly when the questions deal with information which you will frequently find combined in one field.

For best results they should first warn people that there are two fields related to when you were born, and then ask for birth month and birth year control by control.  This is how to make the questions as clear as possible.  Even for just two controls, in situations such as this where the same information is often asked for in one text field.   So we can't rely on the LEGEND in a FIELDSET to get spoken here, and we'll have to program it some other way.  But that is how the explanations should flow.

Particularly for date of birth, which is so common, to ask for only the month and year is truly weird.  In cases like that where you are ever so close to a true cliche, it's advisable to hit the user up the side of the head with everything you have got.  NOW HEAR THIS and very clear instructions so they know what weird stuff you are up to.


>Accessibility Consulting
>Constructing Accessible Web Sites, is now available at Amazon:
>I recommend it. It's a good book!
>-----Original Message-----
>From: w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org]On
>Behalf Of Al Gilman
>Sent: Saturday, April 20, 2002 1:45 PM
>To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
>Subject: RE: Label versus Title
>What use are FIELDSET and LEGEND for this example?
>Are they too arcane to show up in the screen reader?  The example given
>matches the logical pattern for which these were created.
>At 01:41 PM 2002-04-20 , Jim Thatcher wrote:
>>I agree with David that the version with invisible text is not a good idea.
>>The agreement ends there.
>>If you use LABEL as a container for the INPUT element as well as the text,
>>then screen readers will ignore it. So don't do that. The only case where
>>the LABEL as a container is legal HTML is the situation where screen
>>pick up the prompt without any mark up by the author so it is not worth the
>>"Enter Year" is a perfect use of title on an input element whose contents
>>supposed to be the year. But considering unnecessary noise with a screen
>>reader I would just use "Year."
>>In your example where part of the text could be used for one input element
>>and the other part for another is a great use of the label element. Usually
>>that does not work, like Zip Code with two fields, and Phone Number with
>>three entry fields.
>>Accessibility Consulting
>>Constructing Accessible Web Sites, is now available at Amazon:
>>I recommend it. It's a good book!
>>-----Original Message-----
>>From: w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org]On

>>Behalf Of David Woolley
>>Sent: Friday, April 19, 2002 5:26 PM
>>To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
>>Subject: Re: Label versus Title
>>> <label for="month">Please enter your birth month and year:</label> <input
>>> type="text" id="month"> <input type="text" id="year" title="Enter year">
>>This is a misuse of title; an appropriate title might be "year of birth".
>>> <label for="month">Please enter your birth month</label> and <label
>>> for="year">year</label>:<input type="text" id="month"> <input type="text"
>>> id="year">
>>I don't think "Please enter your" is really part of the label, but
>>this makes sense.  I would say that it benefits all users, so doesn't
>>need to be justified on accessibility grounds.
>>> <label for="month">Please enter your birth month</label> and year:<input
>>> type="text" id="month"><span class="invisibleText"><label
>>> your birth year</label></span> <input type="text" id="year">
>>No on two grounds:
>>- you've lost the usability to general users;
>>- this is a misuse of span; the class should be on the label.
>>Also note, that from an HTML point of view, if not a working round broken
>>browsers point of view, the label element should enclose the input element
>>and you will then not need the for parameter (and id can be name).  You
>>would then need another element to cause invisibility, but do you really
>>need to suppress helpful information?
Received on Saturday, 20 April 2002 23:30:34 UTC

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