W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-ig@w3.org > April to June 2013

common forms problems

From: Felix Miata <mrmazda@earthlink.net>
Date: Mon, 03 Jun 2013 11:39:21 -0400
Message-ID: <51ACB8A9.2040604@earthlink.net>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
[I don't recall ever seeing this discussed anywhere in a usability or 
accessibility forum.]

WCAG should to spell out that forms pages with styles disabled by the UA 
remain nevertheless fully accessible. In part this ought to be handled by 
more sensible default and/or minimum sizes for interaction objects in UAs.

It's common for stylists to make input forms pretty at the expense of usable, 
mostly because stylists size objects like iframes and textareas in px, which 
don't accommodate forced legibility via minimum text size or simply even 
larger than 12pt/16px default text size (text "resizing" in advance).

Because tiny browser OEM defaults don't work for me, I often find captchas 
and/or agreement checkboxes are not visible either in part or in whole. It's 
almost a given that textareas sized in px are too small for competent 
composition in UAs with larger than OEM defaults, often as little as 5-7 
words wide and 3 lines tall when no less than 20 words wide by 10 lines tall, 
or more, make sense.

Textareas are typically sized in the HTML (in px), typically to a size that's 
only useful if text size is only 10px or so, or left unsized and falling back 
to a similarly tiny browser default size. Sometimes these input areas are 
placed in overlays, where zooming works on the text without changing the tiny 
overlay size to something reasonable in relation to zoomed content.

Often the best defense to inept styling is the browser view menu's disabling 
of page styles. Not unusually on forms pages this works terribly. Too often 
forms are included in iframes, which without styling are a tiny browser 
default 100px wide by 25px tall or so. Simply finding missing objects in 
these tiny boxes is no small feat. OTOH, captchas often use only one image, 
with CSS specifying an appropriate section to display. With styles disabled, 
it's difficult or impossible to respond correctly, assuming the captcha image 
can even be identified in the small available space.

	Input areas need sensible minimum sizes, enforced by UAs if necessary,
	with the possibility of configurability in the UA as an alternative to
	automatic minimum sizing in relation to configured preferred text size.

	Iframes need a sensible mimimum size, in same manner as input areas.

	Captchas need a unique, fully visible image for each possible context.
-- 
"The wise are known for their understanding, and pleasant
words are persuasive." Proverbs 16:21 (New Living Translation)

  Team OS/2 ** Reg. Linux User #211409 ** a11y rocks!

Felix Miata  ***  http://fm.no-ip.com/
Received on Monday, 3 June 2013 15:39:52 UTC

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