Understanding WCAG 2.0

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Understanding Guideline 3.2

Guideline 3.2: Make Web pages appear and operate in predictable ways.

Intent of Guideline 3.2

The intent of this Guideline is to help users with disabilities by presenting content in a predictable order from Web page to Web page and by making the behavior of functional and interactive components predictable. It is difficult for some users to form an overview of the Web page: screen readers present content as a one-dimensional stream of synthetic speech that makes it difficult to understand spatial relationships. Users with cognitive limitations may become confused if components appear in different places on different pages.

For example, people who use screen magnifiers see only part of the screen at any point in time; a consistent layout makes it easier for them to find navigation bars and other components. Placing repeated components in the same relative order within a set of Web pages allows users with reading disabilities to focus on an area of the screen rather than spending additional time decoding the text of each link. Users with limited use of their hands can more easily determine how to complete their tasks using the fewest keystrokes.

Advisory Techniques for Guideline 3.2 (not success criteria specific)

Specific techniques for meeting each Success Criterion for this guideline are listed in the understanding sections for each Success Criterion (listed below). If there are techniques, however, for addressing this guideline that do not fall under any of the success criteria, they are listed here. These techniques are not required or sufficient for meeting any success criteria, but can make certain types of Web content more accessible to more people.

  • Positioning labels to maximize predictability of relationships

Success Criteria for this Guideline: