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RE: Placeholder behavior

From: Alastair Campbell <acampbell@nomensa.com>
Date: Tue, 7 Oct 2014 09:48:21 +0100
To: Andrew Kirkpatrick <akirkpat@adobe.com>
CC: Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Working Group <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <D4219A0ECCAE794C9ED7DC6F5A4C0CD5DE3828C3EC@jupiter.intranet.nomensa.com>
> Is anyone aware of any studies on this?

As well as the NNgroup study Jonathon sent, in usability testing (in general) I’ve seen people lose track of what the field was when tabbing to a field or when validation kicked in.

I think there are two subtle issues there:

1.       If the placeholder disappears on focus a keyboard user looking at the form would be adversely affected. I don’t think that is the default behavior for the HTML5 placeholder attribute, but it used to be for a lot of the JavaScript equivalents.

2.       If the form re-loads with validation errors and relied on the placeholder as a label, depending on the meaning of the input, it might be difficult to know what it is.

I’m not sure either are applicable to WCAG here, but it’s the only issues I’ve noted in testing apart from obvious screen reader issues.


Received on Tuesday, 7 October 2014 08:48:53 UTC

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