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ARIA1 examples

From: Sailesh Panchang <spanchang02@yahoo.com>
Date: Thu, 2 Oct 2014 08:38:35 -0700
Message-ID: <1412264315.23902.YahooMailBasic@web122102.mail.ne1.yahoo.com>
To: "w3c-wai-gl@w3.org" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
The discussion about ARIA7 made me re-visit the ARIA1 examples.
It is good that aria-describedby is available in our repertoire. But only in some cases it is really needed to pass an SC; at other times it may enhance the user experience without helping to pass any SC. Here are some thoughts about the examples:  
Example 1: Close button with "X":
Maybe an aria-label  is the better choice here for VI users of SRs / SMs.
Associating the instructional text "closing this window will ..." is nice to do for user experience but I believe is beyond the call of SC 3.3.2 and SC 1.3.1. Using aria-describedby adds a lot of verbosity ... a simple aria-label="Close window" is enough. In fact this is covered by ARIA14 and is the same as the first example there.  

Example 2: First name field with instructional text:
Here, the label 'first name' is tied to the field - enough for SC 3.3.2 and 1.3.1. If the instructional text is always visible  and placed below / next to the field, aria-describedby will help user experience but is not required to pass any SC. 
Well if the instructional text is displayed only when the field gets focus like in  example 4 (iCITA), then aria-describedby technique is certainly useful to pass SC 3.3.2 / 1.3.1. 

Example 3 and 5: Buttons for Fonts / Colors / Customize:
Here again the button text is good for SC 3.3.2  and 1.3.1.
If there were a series of such buttons with same names, then some section identifier  would need to be associated with every button to serve as its identifier. The aria-labelledby / aria-label method may be useful then.
But associating the instructional text for the buttons in the example is nice for user experience but not required for SC 3.3.2 or 1.3.1. Arguably  it could be used for SC 2.4.6.
The ARIA technique is useful as in example 6 when the instructional text is displayed only when a button gets focus.

Sailesh Panchang
Received on Thursday, 2 October 2014 15:41:58 UTC

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