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RE: Forms and error messages

From: Jonathan Avila <jon.avila@ssbbartgroup.com>
Date: Thu, 9 Apr 2015 13:10:31 +0000
To: Madhavi Herle <Madhavi_Herle@infosys.com>, "w3c-wai-ig@w3.org" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <BY2PR03MB2720B86F448AC07475BD1669BFB0@BY2PR03MB272.namprd03.prod.outlook.com>
> If testing a large form with a lot of input fields, where would you prefer to see the error messages?

Is it before the start of the form with links to the form fields or error messages just before the form fields?



With a large form I agree it makes sense to warn the user about the issues as they occur so they can address them.  Also leaving in the errors at the top of the form will provide a summary for people who have trouble locating the fields in error after submit.



I wrote a blog on this topic called How to Provide Accessible Error Identification<http://www.ssbbartgroup.com/blog/how-to-provide-accessible-error-identification/> last year.  It covers a few other topics such as submit buttons that are disabled until the user fills the form correctly.



Jonathan



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Jonathan Avila

Chief Accessibility Officer

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jon.avila@ssbbartgroup.com



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-----Original Message-----
From: Madhavi Herle [mailto:Madhavi_Herle@infosys.com]
Sent: Thursday, April 09, 2015 3:09 AM
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Subject: Forms and error messages



Hello everyone,



If testing a large form with a lot of input fields, where would you prefer to see the error messages?

Is it before the start of the form with links to the form fields or error messages just before the form fields?



I am currently testing a huge form with over 30 fields. The error messages are before the form and are links to the form fields. The fields are not marked as mandatory, so the chances of human error is high. Each mandatory field has a hazard sign saying that there is an error with the information provided which is positioned after the fields.



With a long list of error messages linking back to the fields, I think keyboard and screen reader users will find this difficult.



I am suggesting the following:

- include * for each mandatory field, so the users can avoid errors to start with.

- Define the meaning of * before the start of the form

- Move the hazard icon before each mandatory field and change the alt of each hazard icon to be field specific.

- Since the forms are quite old, I am asking them to retain the links as is. This might help some user groups.



What are your thoughts on this?



Thanks in advance.



Regards,

Madhavi



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Received on Thursday, 9 April 2015 13:11:05 UTC

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