Techniques for WCAG 2.0

Skip to Content (Press Enter)


F81: Failure of Success Criterion 1.4.1 due to identifying required or error fields using color differences only

Important Information about Techniques

See Understanding Techniques for WCAG Success Criteria for important information about the usage of these informative techniques and how they relate to the normative WCAG 2.0 success criteria. The Applicability section explains the scope of the technique, and the presence of techniques for a specific technology does not imply that the technology can be used in all situations to create content that meets WCAG 2.0.


All technologies

This failure relates to:


This objective of this technique is to describe the failure that occurs when a required field or an error field is marked with color differences only, without an alternate way to identify the required field or error field. This can cause problems for people who are blind or colorblind, because they may not be able to perceive the color differences that indicate which field is required or which field is causing an error.


Note: In both examples, the color could be used without failure if the text was sufficiently different in visual presentation (e.g. bold or in a different font) that it would be easily differentiated from the surrounding text if the color were removed. It would also not fail if the color chosen had sufficient luminosity difference (lightness) from the other text that it would be easily be seen as different if viewed in black and white. In these cases - the information would not be displayed in color (hue) alone but also in "presentation" or "lightness" respectively.



For all required fields or error fields in the Web page that are identified using color differences:

  1. Check that an non-color way to identify the required field or error field is provided.

Expected Results