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Re: Fwd: Error Handling Best Practice?

From: Patrick H. Lauke <redux@splintered.co.uk>
Date: Thu, 17 Dec 2015 10:55:40 +0000
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Message-ID: <567294AC.30006@splintered.co.uk>
On 17/12/2015 09:31, Alistair Garrison wrote:
> I would be very interested to hear any comments back from the wider
> community about user experience success stories relating to accessible
> error handling methods, discussing such things as:
> 1) Is placing an in-line error message before the box better than after
> the box?
> 2) What's the best way to manage focus when dealing with in-line validation?
> 3) Is placing an error message box before the form a better user
> experience than in-line validation?
> 4) Is in-line validation better than post-form-submit validation? on the
> mobile?

I think (and this confused me on the Mobile Task Force list too) you're 
using "in-line validation" to mean two things here. In your preceding 
points, you use "in-line" to mean error messages right next to their 
respective form fields, while in this point, you're using it to mean 
"the error is displayed right away after the user interacted with the 
form control, rather than only after the form was submitted"...

Speaking of "in-line validation" in the latter case, this may be 
interesting: for web content, HTML5 form validation "native" validation 
bubbles are - both on desktop and mobile - not well supported by AT / 
not exposed by UAs. See 

> 5) Should a submit button always be enabled, or can it be disabled when
> a form is incomplete?

By having the submit button disabled until the form is complete/valid, 
you're forcing the user to go through the form until they finally spot 
the bit they've missed out, which may not be obvious to them. If you 
allow the user to submit, and then clearly signpost what was 
incomplete/wrong in the form, they have a better chance of 
finding/rectifying that, in my opinion.

Patrick H. Lauke

www.splintered.co.uk | https://github.com/patrickhlauke
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Received on Thursday, 17 December 2015 10:56:03 UTC

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