Providing descriptive labels

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 2.1 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 2.1.

Applicability

All technologies.

This technique relates to:

Description

The objective of this technique is to ensure that the label for any interactive component within Web content makes the component's purpose clear. Using the appropriate technology-specific techniques for technologies for associating labels with interactive controls allows assistive technology to recognize the label and present it to the user, therefore allowing the user to identify the purpose of the control.The label may also be used to include text or a text symbol indicating that input is required.

Examples

Example 1: Online maps with controls for zooming in and out

A Web application presents maps of a city. Users can “zoom in" to view part of the map in greater detail, and can “zoom out" to make it show a larger part of the city. The controls can be operated using either a mouse or a keyboard. The controls are labeled “Zoom in (Ctrl + Shift + L)" And “Zoom out (Ctrl + Shift + R)."

Example 2: A form asking the name of the user

A form asks the name of the user. It consists of two input fields to ask for the first and last name. The first field is labeled "First name", the second is labeled "Last name".

Example 3: A form with required fields

A purchasing form includes several fields that are required. In addition to identifying the field, the label for each required field includes the word “required" in parentheses.

Tests

Procedure

For each interface component with a label:

  1. Identify the purpose of the interface component.
  2. Check that each label makes the component's purpose clear.

Expected Results

  • Checks #2 is true.