Re: Redundant entry queries

In WCAG 2.x we use “step” in 2.4.5 Multiple ways and in the Complete Processes conformance criteria. In both of those I think that the general feeling is that a step is one increment in a process, but I can see Wilco’s point in that both do provide some connection between “step” and “page”:

Success Criterion 2.4.5 Multiple Ways (Level AA)

More than one way is available to locate a Web page within a set of Web pages except where the Web Page is the result of, or a step in, a process.

5.2.3 Complete processes

When a Web page is one of a series of Web pages presenting a process (i.e., a sequence of steps that need to be completed in order to accomplish an activity), all Web pages in the process conform at the specified level or better.

That said, I do think that this is still using “step” in the common way, and that we can handle this in the understanding document. When I’m filling out a form to open an account for something it is quite common to have an accordion where each “step” is a separate accordion area, so this is definitely not limited to pages.



Andrew Kirkpatrick

Head of Accessibility


From: Wilco Fiers <>

Date: Friday, March 20, 2020 at 11:19 AM

To: Alastair Campbell <>

Cc: WCAG <>

Subject: Re: Redundant entry queries

Resent-From: WCAG <>

Resent-Date: Friday, March 20, 2020 at 11:19 AM

Hey Alastair,

The way the word "step" is used here it seems to mean a different screens in a multi-screen process. For example in buying items from an eShop one might have step 1 be filling out billing address, step 2 selecting payment method, and step 3 the actual payment. But another way to understand "step" is to have it be a synonym of "user action", which is how "process" is defined. In such a case, each form field a user can put information into is a step. Filling out your name is step 1, filling out your billing address step 2, 3 and 4, clicking the "next" button is step 5, selecting payment method is step 6, etc.

Understanding "step" as a synonym for "user action" actually makes more sense because of that "process (i.e., a sequence of steps...)" thing in conformance requirement 3. There are at least two different, equally plausible ways to explain what this word "step" means from the normative text. In my opinion that needs to be fixed.


On Thu, Mar 19, 2020 at 1:10 PM Alastair Campbell <> wrote:

Hi Wilco,

       > This success criterion has not been recently surveyed.

Indeed, but we didn’t want to run the CFC just before or during CSUN.

We had reviewed it in Jan & Feb, and resolved in the latter meeting to publish once the technique was finished (which took us to early March).

       > - "step" has not been defined. I've remarked on this several times before.

Based on your comments we discussed that on Jan 28th:

The main thoughts were that we try not to define things which are already dictionary defined, e.g.:

And we already talk about “a sequence of steps” for processes in the conformance section as well:

As far as I can tell everyone else is happy with it being a standard usage of the term, is there a scenario you have in mind where it is not clear?

       > The exception has a dual meaning. The word "essential" can be read to be either about re-entering being essential, or the information being essential.

I can’t see how you’d get the latter interpretation from:

“When re-entering the information is essential”.

I think you’d have to ignore ‘re-entering’, or put a comma after it to get the other interpretation. From the other comments, are you sure you were looking at the version in the pull request? E.g. there is a word between information & essential.

       >  "available for the user to select" is vague. "select" can mean a number of things, including highlighting with a cursor for copy/paste.

That was the intent, i.e. it could be a variety of things including copy-paste. The point was you don’t have to recall it from memory. There is a proposal for a technique for “Displaying the previously entered value and allowing the user to select it”.

We could add something to the understanding document about that, but from your comment it seems to convey what was intended.

Kind regards,



Wilco Fiers

Axe for Web product owner - Co-facilitator WCAG-ACT - Chair ACT-R

Received on Friday, 20 March 2020 16:27:26 UTC