Potential WCAG 2.x criteria


Potential success criteria people have proposed for WCAG 2.x (currently would be looking at 2.3).

Provide Information So a User Can Complete and Prepare for a Task

From John Kirkwood. Change 4.6.4 from Content Usable into an SC. Details below.

4.6.4 Provide Information So a User Can Complete and Prepare for a Task (Pattern) User Need: I need to know how to start a task, and what is involved. Related User Story: Distractions.

What to Do: Emphasize the start of important tasks.

Before a user performs a task consisting of multiple steps, ensure they have an estimate of the amount of effort required to complete the task. This should include:

  • the time it might take,
  • details of any resources needed to perform the task, and
  • overview of the process and next step.

Once the user starts the task, ensure the user clearly understands when the task is still "in-process" and when it has been completed.


  • How to define an 'important task'
  • How to determine a level of effort, which will vary wildly between people.
  • How to define what would qualify as an overview.

Retain search keywords

From Gundula Niemann: keep search field entry

When providing search results, the original search field entry is kept in the search field. Intent: Specifically on unexpected results, users with cognitive limitations like memory loss might not remember the exact search they did. If the original search strings are preserved, the user can easily check for typos or misconception and correct or enhance the search.

Retaining state

From Oliver Keim: State Preservation and Restoration

When returning to a page after an action has led to a different page (like a modal dialogue or a detail page), the state and context or the page are restored.

This includes but might not be limited to:

  • focused element
  • scrolling position
  • selection status,
  • state of trees (collapsed/extended)
  • zoom level
  • panning state (in images or maps)

Reasoning: When returning from a dialog or a detail page, having to navigate through the page again to retrieve the former state is highly inefficient specifically for keyboard users and might be distracting or even disrupting for users with cognitive shortcomings.


  • Crosses page, can be hard to deal with in WCAG 2.x
  • Overlaps with user-agent behaviour, which might override whatever a content author does, and generally not good for content authors to try and battle that.