Re: Focus appearance updates

Hi everyone,

This is a follow up after a discussion with Michael about the options whilst transitioning to PR.

It is stricter than I had thought, so to transition to PR we could only include the SC as-is, or removed.

That presents a choice: Remove the SC, or re-enter CR.

The chairs are assuming that if we remove the SC and enter PR, we will get objections. The user-need for focus-appearance is well known, the arguments about complexity/testability would be mitigated at AAA.

On the other hand, there are external impacts to a further delay. From what I’ve heard, ISO is waiting for 2.2 and the EU are preparing an update to the EN in the autumn.

The feeling amongst the chairs is that this is likely to be the last version of WCAG 2.x, we’d rather get focus-appearance included at AAA (and target-size right). Therefore, we’d lean towards re-entering CR, and do everything possible to keep the timeline as tight as possible. That would mean a June publication date.

Unless we hear from group members that you’d rather progress quickly and drop focus-appearance, we’ll proceed on that basis.

That means getting the wording ready for next week (i.e. Tuesday decisions).

Any responses to the below (after MichaelG’s) are welcome, and this will be on the agenda.

Kind regards,


From: Alastair Campbell
Hi everyone,

Based on the survey and the call today, we agreed to move Focus Appearance to AAA.

If we can make some further modifications, we should work out what those are.

It isn’t clear what would count as ‘substantive’, as we are creating requirements rather than features. Moved to AAA we have reduced the requirement in practice.

Another fairly straightforward change would be to remove the ‘part 1’ of the SC. That would at least make it smaller, if not simpler. It would not affect conformance, as anything that passes part 1 would pass part 2.

I can see two other changes that could be appropriate at AAA.

  1.  Simplify the ‘size’ bullet, e.g. remove the 4 times shortest side measure.
  2.  Increase the size requirement to 2 CSS pixel thick perimeter.

All of those together would leave us with:

When the keyboard focus indicator<> is visible, an area of the focus indicator meets all the following:
·         is at least as large as the area of a 2 CSS pixel<> thick perimeter<> of the unfocused component or sub-component, and
·         has a contrast ratio of at least 3:1 between the same pixels in the focused and unfocused states, and
·         has a contrast ratio of at least 3:1 against adjacent non-focus-indicator colors, or is no thinner than 2 CSS pixels.
(Plus the exceptions.)

Does anyone have a different approach to this, or would like to make a case for retaining the 4 x shortest side metric?

I think the overall impact, for those aiming for AAA, would be a stronger push toward outlines, and thicker outlines as well.

Kind regards,



@alastc /<>

Received on Thursday, 23 March 2023 18:08:28 UTC