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Re: Visibly hidden controls

From: Patrick H. Lauke <redux@splintered.co.uk>
Date: Tue, 6 Dec 2016 00:17:47 +0000
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Message-ID: <2f84d067-365d-dc6a-4524-c386f78f73b5@splintered.co.uk>
On 05/12/2016 23:17, Terrill Thompson wrote:

> Chromeless media players are a common example. By default there are no
> controls other than (perhaps) a large play button that's overlaid over a
> poster image. When the video is playing there are no controls at all.
> However, if a mouse user hovers over the video a control bar appears.
> Depending on how it's coded the control bar might be accessible to
> screen reader users, and might even be visibly exposed to keyboard users
> once it receives focus, but from my perspective if it's not visible,
> keyboard users won't necessarily know they can tab to it.  The same
> applies to speech-to-text users. How do they know they can say "Click
> mute" if the media player has no visible Mute button?

The fact that the controls need to become visible when focused is a 
given...without that, you're definitely falling short of at least "focus 
visible" SC.

The trickier question whether or not controls that aren't visible at 
all, and only show on hover/focus...I personally wouldn't say it fails 
any particular SC. It's an issue that would affect sighted mouse and 
keyboard users, as well as speech users (assuming that since the 
controls aren't visible, they won't be easily triggerable by simply 
using voice commands to press play etc). But I tend to think this falls 
more under usability overall than accessibility.

One possible improvement would be that if the video is paused/stopped, 
the controls should be at least faintly visible. While the video is then 
playing, if the video is not focused/hovered, then I could see the 
argument for making them disappear (but reappear as soon as the mouse is 
hovered/focus placed anywhere on the controls...and ensuring that the 
controls don't automatically fade too quickly after the mouse stopped 
moving, and not fade away at all if focus is anywhere on any control).

Patrick H. Lauke

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Received on Tuesday, 6 December 2016 00:18:43 UTC

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