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RE: Focus visible (enh) update

From: Alastair Campbell <acampbell@nomensa.com>
Date: Fri, 18 Oct 2019 22:40:26 +0000
To: Sailesh Panchang <sailesh.panchang@deque.com>
CC: "w3c-wai-gl@w3.org" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <DBBPR09MB3045172D834B209A066EF88AB96C0@DBBPR09MB3045.eurprd09.prod.outlook.com>
Sailesh wrote:
> Maybe browser makers should be urged to  improve the default focus indicator area 
> and contrast issues that are noted as accessibility concerns.

If browsers reliably met the requirement in the proposed SC, authors wouldn't have to do anything. Also, this SC came from the non-text contrast SC not working well enough for focus styles, the original intent was to cover it.

People have been asking browsers for better focus styles [1], but it hasn't gotten anywhere.

If authors rely on browser defaults, there are several known instances [2] where it is difficult or impossible to see:
- Chrome/Safari has a blue indicator, invisible on a blue background.
- Firefox uses 'currentColor', so a link/button with a dark background and white text would have a white indicator, on a white background.
- The 1px dotted outline approach  (FF/IE/Edge) is hard to see for everyone in many circumstances.

If an author has provided a custom focus style (and sites which don't are rare from the sites we audit), there is currently little definition of 'visible'. Non-text contrast measures 'adjacent' colors, which is not an effective measure for focus styles which are dynamic.

As David and Jon have mentioned, user-agent tools are relatively unknown (or v. technical) for users, and when used are not effective across all sites. There are author things that need to  be done for complex sites where it defines a complex interface, and even simple sites in particular scenarios.

So to return to the beginning of this email: I think we should define a minimum bar for 'visible', which can be achieved by user-agents or authors. In general authors will need to meet it for now, but if user agents deal with it, great!

Cheers,

-Alastair

1] https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1284235 
2] https://adrianroselli.com/2017/02/avoid-default-browser-focus-styles.html 

Received on Friday, 18 October 2019 22:40:32 UTC

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