W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-gl@w3.org > January to March 2022

Re: Focus-appearance terminology

From: Andrew Kirkpatrick <akirkpat@adobe.com>
Date: Mon, 31 Jan 2022 14:21:11 +0000
To: Alastair Campbell <acampbell@nomensa.com>, Wilco Fiers <wilco.fiers@deque.com>
CC: "WCAG list (w3c-wai-gl@w3.org)" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <F31F899B-3AC7-423F-BA87-AC9D56CE960C@adobe.com>
> Also, “receive” was used to allow for scenarios where the focus indicator changes or is subsequently hidden. The AAA version uses “has” to be stricter.

We can get to the same place without creating different terms, which is why I am suggesting “keyboard operable user interface control”.

And, if we use “When any keyboard operable user interface control displays a visible focus indicator, the focus indicator meets the following:” then we aren’t saying that it has to be shown at all times.

The issue that I’m trying to avoid is creating additional terms to refer to user interface controls. If we need to constrain the SC to not include all UIC then we should use language that we already have in place to do so.

Related to the AA/AAA difference, I thought that the main distinction was to increase the contrast ratio, change the minimum area, and strengthen the obscured part – what are the scenarios where the focus isn’t visible that we are allowing in the AA version?


From: Andrew Kirkpatrick

Does a landmark or other target of a skip navigation that receives focus but doesn’t have other keyboard interaction need to show that focus visually? I can see the argument as to why it should (people can more easily tell where they are on the page) but also why it shouldn’t (people will think that they can do something with the focused control).

I do think that there is benefit to starting with:

    <p>When any [thing] has a visible focus indicator, the focus indicator meets the following:</p>

(this is also a change to remove the “receive” bit and uses the language from the focus visible SC.)

Building on that we could say:
    <p>When any keyboard operable user interface element has a visible focus indicator, the focus indicator meets the following:</p>

Of course, in the definition of User Interface Component is this note:
What is meant by "component" or "user interface component" here is also sometimes called "user interface element".
I don’t think that “Interactive element” is any different than “keyboard operable user interface element” and therefore not any different from “keyboard operable user interface component” – maybe we just need to add in the “keyboard operable” ahead of “user interface component” to solve this?


Andrew Kirkpatrick
Director, Accessibility


From: Wilco Fiers <wilco.fiers@deque.com>
Date: Sunday, January 30, 2022 at 6:31 PM
To: Alastair Campbell <acampbell@nomensa.com>
Cc: WCAG <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Subject: Re: Focus-appearance terminology
Resent-From: WCAG <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Resent-Date: Sunday, January 30, 2022 at 6:29 PM

Hey Alastair,
I'm glad Andrew raised this. I didn't quite realize what that's doing. We shouldn't make the assumption that everything that's focusable is a user interface component. In particular landmarks are often used as the target of skip links. Changing to component or element as you suggest would mean those are then in scope of the SC.

On Fri, Jan 28, 2022 at 5:02 PM Alastair Campbell <acampbell@nomensa.com<mailto:acampbell@nomensa.com>> wrote:
Hi everyone,

(And particularly Andrew and Bruce who raised this.)

We were discussing the start of focus-appearance. The published version is:
“When user interface components<https://nam04.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fw3c.github.io%2Fwcag%2Fguidelines%2F22%2F%23dfn-user-interface-components&data=04%7C01%7Cakirkpat%40adobe.com%7C6aa1d217243f4c3da6f108d9e4a43fd7%7Cfa7b1b5a7b34438794aed2c178decee1%7C0%7C0%7C637792216372403470%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000&sdata=xUvOp8u4ERIjWVTdr1nBCClNLPZisFH06aXaf35g5lo%3D&reserved=0> receive keyboard focus, an area of the focus indicator meets the following:”

The proposed update was:
“When components receive keyboard focus, an area of the focus indicator meets the following:”

With the note, that was intended to scope it to the underlying component rather than the perceived component.

As an alternative, how about borrowing from 4.1.1 and using element:

“When elements receive keyboard focus, an area of the focus indicator meets the following:”

And then swapping ‘element’ in for component in each subsequent usage.

Kind regards,



@alastc / www.nomensa.com<https://nam04.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.nomensa.com%2F&data=04%7C01%7Cakirkpat%40adobe.com%7C6aa1d217243f4c3da6f108d9e4a43fd7%7Cfa7b1b5a7b34438794aed2c178decee1%7C0%7C0%7C637792216372403470%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000&sdata=RKbBHgwMckApOVy0mOHWFnz9jIYJHYPq7K3yJzrJpe8%3D&reserved=0>

Wilco Fiers
Axe-core & Axe-linter product owner - WCAG 3 Project Manager - Facilitator ACT Task Force

Received on Monday, 31 January 2022 14:21:28 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.4.0 : Thursday, 24 March 2022 21:08:43 UTC