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Purpose and doc/app names

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In WCAG2ICT the question came up as to whether the name of a document or a web application was sufficient to represent its Purpose or Topic. The question arose because of the language " that describe topic or purpose". This shows up in 2.4.4 (link purpose) as well. "The purpose of each link can be determined from". Some felt that a name by itself did not always describe the purpose of the page/document/app. For example (for 2.4.2 would "BingBong" represent the purpose or topic of a web page that had a story (or web app) by that name on it.

We use the term "Purpose" in several places all of which to date have assumed that a document or WebApp title would be sufficient to describe the purpose.

  • 2.4.2 (Page Title) we assume that the title of a document or web app (even if quite abstract) would meet the criterion of describing the page's "Topic or Purpose".
  • 2.4.4 (Link Purpose - in context) we assume that a link (with its context) to a page that contained only the title of the document or web app would be sufficient to describe the links "Purpose".
  • 2.4.8 (Link Purpose - Link Only) we assume that a link (by itself) to a page that contained only the title of the document or web app would be sufficient to describe the links "Purpose".

However, nowhere do we actually say that a title of a document would be sufficient to describe the "Purpose" of the link or the page.

Since document titles are routinely used as links on pages and site maps, as are web app names, (including on our own exemplar pages ) this would appear to be true - but clarity was requested. The following is suggested - proposed as an addition to SC 2.4.2, 2.4.4 and 2.4.9 to address this.

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Add the following paragraphs to the end of the INTENT sections for SC 2.4.2, 2.4.4 and 2.4.9 respectively. The link provided will take you to the full INTENT for the named SC:

SC 2.4.2

Add the following as a second paragraph:

In cases where the page is a document or a web application, the name of the document or web application would be sufficient to describe the purpose of the page. Note that it is not required to use the name of the document or web application; other things may also describe the purpose or the topic of the page.

Success Criteria 2.4.4 and 2.4.9 deal with the purpose of links, many of which are links to web pages. Here also, the name of a document or web application being linked to would be sufficient to describe the purpose of the link. Having the link and the title agree, or be very similar, is good practice and provides continuity between the link 'clicked on' and the web page that the user lands on.


SC 2.4.4

Add the following paragraph as the second paragraph:

The text of, or associated with, the link is intended to describe the purpose of the link. In cases where the link takes one to a document or a web application, the name of the document or web application would be sufficient to describe the purpose of the link (which is to take you to the document or web application). Note that it is not required to use the name of the document or web application; other things may also describe the purpose of the link.

Success Criterion 2.4.2 deals with the titles of pages. Here also, the name of a document or web application being presented on the page would be sufficient to describe the purpose of the page. Having the link and the title agree, or be very similar, is good practice and provides continuity between the link 'clicked on' and the web page that the user lands on.

SC 2.4.9

Add the following paragraph as the second paragraph:

The text in the link is intended to describe the purpose of the link. In cases where the link takes one to a document or a web application, the name of the document or web application would be sufficient to describe the purpose of the link (which is to take you to the document or web application). Note that it is not required to use the name of the document or web application; other things may also describe the purpose of the link.

Success Criterion 2.4.2 deals with the titles of pages. Here also, the name of a document or web application being presented on the page would be sufficient to describe the purpose of the page. Having the link and the title agree, or be very similar, is good practice and provides continuity between the link 'clicked on' and the web page that the user lands on.