Re: Visual Indicators

I’d also like to suggest/request an edit to the exception “An underline is a sufficient indicator that a control is actionable.”

I would prefer this only apply to text links. otherwise I think it would be very problematic to our COGA user needs


This message was Sent from my iPhone. Please excuse any typographic errors.

On Apr 8, 2020, at 11:37 AM, David Fazio <> wrote:

We have done a lot of work, this past year, to identify and address some critical user needs in COGA. In reference to this SC they would be:

Helping users understand what things are and how to use them;

Using clear and understandable content;

Preventing the user from making mistakes


As I briefly mentioned, when a user browses a page they rely on “top-down attention”. This is a voluntary, narrow minded, tunnel vision, effort that is driven by internal predispositions of what the user expects to find (what it would look like). In doing so, they filter out most all other information that doesn’t meet their predisposed expectations (we rely on past experiences for this). This creates a high probability of “inattentional blindness, which is failing to notice something because it doesn’t meet your internal, or sub-conscious, expectations. In order for a stimulus to catch your attention it must be “salient”. This means it must have some logical relationship to the background, as well as your internal expectations, while also having prominent characteristics that make it stound out as different.

Using clear, salient, visual indicators helps users reduce mental fatigue, because the content jumps out at you in a process known as “bottom up attention, which is involuntary. It also helps users understand content (what it is, what it does), and helps prevent performing the wrong action. Text links aren’t typically used to perform processes or functions. Buttons, and controls are, which probably sounds redundant.

So, I am in favor of expanding the scope.

David Fazio

From: "Niemann, Gundula" <>
Date: Wednesday, April 8, 2020 at 9:36 AM
To: David MacDonald <>, WCAG <>
Subject: RE: Visual Indicators
Resent-From: <>
Resent-Date: Wednesday, April 8, 2020 at 9:36 AM

Hello David, hello all,

in fact we do not agree to widen the scope of the upcoming “Visual Indicators” Success Criterion to inline links in a block of text,
as inline links are handled in SC 1.4.1, and the Success Criteria should be free of overlaps.
For easier reference, I linked some documents which are relevant in this context.
Some are from WCAG 2.0, some are from WCAG 2.1.
Use of Color:
Understanding SC 1.4.1 (in WCAG 2.0)
Section Techniques and Failures for Success Criterion 1.4.1 - Use of Color

Understanding Success Criterion 1.4.1: Use of Color

Using a contrast ratio of 3:1 with surrounding text and providing additional visual cues on focus for links or controls where color alone is used to identify them

F73: Failure of Success Criterion 1.4.1 due to creating links that are not visually evident without color vision

Best regards,

Dr. Gundula Niemann
SAP Accessibility Competence Center

From: David MacDonald <>
Sent: Dienstag, 7. April 2020 19:32
To: WCAG <>
Subject: Visual Indicators

Hi all

On the call John Avila, John Kirkwood and Brooks said they would like to see the scope of the Visual Indicators SC widened. Here is my attempt to do that while not impacting current design conventions.

      Visual Indicators: For controls needed to progress or complete a process, and inline links in a block of text, differences in spacing between elements, typeface, font size, or font style are not used as the only visual means of conveying interaction.

             Exception: An underline is a sufficient indicator that a control is actionable.

David MacDonald

CanAdapt Solutions Inc.
Mobile:  613.806.9005



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Received on Wednesday, 8 April 2020 18:58:21 UTC