Re: Updates to Understanding 1.4.11 part 2

Hi John,

Let’s try to bring this to a decision (for the group), I’ll summarise and you (and others) can see if it’s a fair summary.
(NB: I lean towards excepting default focus styles, but see the arguments on both sides.)

Either way we can and will encourage best practice in the Understanding doc, but for what we pass/fail under the SC, let’s make a choice.

If we take the wide interpretation of the exception (i.e. if the developer touches anything related to the component, including the background of the page the exception does not apply), the positives are:

  *   Making authors set the focus style explicitly solves the problem that for some users: the default focus style on a blue background (and some other types of background) will make the focus practically invisible.

  *   Related but less of an impact is that the visibility of the default focus indicator can vary significantly depending on background colour and browser used. (NB: Some browsers ensure visibility with multiple colours or inverting the colour on dark backgrounds.)

  *   Testing is more straightforward if the focus color is explicitly set, and given the commonality of setting the background colour, the wide interpretation would in-practice enforce setting the focus style.

If we take the narrow interpretation of the exception (i.e. if the developer doesn’t touch the outline they pass this SC), the positives are:

  *   It doesn’t add something for developers to do that (in theory at least) should be dealt with by the user-agent.

  *   The person’s preference (especially for the better browsers) are less likely to be overridden by the site.

  *   It would be consistent with 1.4.13, which has a similar exception for the title-attribute pop-up.

  *   Using the default focus style is good for avoiding the focus-on-click issue, where an ‘ugly’ focus style appears around components on-click. (E.g. go to and click & hold on “What’s new in WCAG 2.1”. You might need to hard-refresh to see the style as it’s just been updated.)

Anything else? (Just on this!)


PS. Re thickness of borders, I just meant that it was user-agent / user set, so if that is your preference it’s helpful if the site doesn’t override it.

Received on Thursday, 14 June 2018 16:35:31 UTC